Radical childhoods

Schooling and the struggle for social change

By Jessica Gerrard

Radical childhoods


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9021-9
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: July 2014
  • BIC Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Society & social sciences / Society & culture: general, Educational Strategies & Policy, Sociology, Society & culture: general, PSYCHOLOGY / Education & Training


At a time when education appears to be simply reproducing social class relations, Radical childhoods offers a timely consideration of how children's and young people's education can confront and challenge social inequality. Presenting detailed analysis of archival material and oral testimony, the book examines the experiences of students and educators in two schooling initiatives that were connected to two of the most significant social movements in Britain: Socialist Sunday Schools (est. 1892) and Black Saturday/Supplementary Schools (est. 1967).

Analysing across time, the author explores the ways in which these two very different schooling movements incorporated large numbers of women, challenged class and race inequality, and attempted to create spaces of 'emancipatory' education independent to the state. It argues that despite appearing to be on the 'margins' of the public sphere these schools were important, if contested and complex, sites of political struggle.


'Radical Childhoods will be of interest to those working within the field of the history of education but also those with interests in sociology and education more broadly. The clear, concise introduction, in particular, in which Gerrard situates the work within a contemporary policy context and in relation to debates about the nature of social class, is widely applicable and will find relevance and interest from students and researchers at all levels.'
Kate Spencer-Bennett, University of Birmingham, History of Education, December 2016


Part I: Radical education, childhood and social change
1. Introduction: radical education, past and present
2. Children's education and the struggle for social change
Part II: Socialist Sunday schools, 1892-1930
3. Introduction
4. 'Waken, children, waken! justice be your aim!': the creation of a children's socialist movement and the 'religion of socialism'
5. For the workers' battles are our battles': challenges and critiques, internationalism, and women's work
Part III: Black Saturday schools, 1967-90
6. Introduction
7. 'Give them pride in their blackness': the emergence of the black Saturday school movement and real and imagined black educational communities
8. 'We are our own educators!': black educational authority, gender, and community control
Part IV: Conclusion
9. Radical childhoods and the struggle over education


Jessica Gerrard is a McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout