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“Tozer relishes sharing with his readers that Thring went about his work by advocating an holistic education. […] What marked Thring out from others who looked to use sport to drive their schools forward was the breadth of his PE programme. It encompassed recreational country pursuits, as well as gymnastics, swimming, athletics and games. […] In this, as in his promotion of music and art in the curriculum and in his consistent belief that every child matters, Thring is strikingly modern. The blurb on the back cover suggests Directors of Sport, trainee teachers and historians of education, gender, society and sport should read it. In fact, it has much to say to headteachers and senior leaders too, about the balanced curriculum, about creative pupil leadership and about sport as just one of the co-curricular enterprises that deserve their support. Reading Tozer is stimulating. Like all good authors, when he doesn’t have the answer, he sets the reader the right question.”
Dr Joseph Spence
Master of Dulwich College, UK, in Conference & Common Room
“The public school has often been written about in institutional terms but Tozer uses evidence to allow the reader to glimpse personalities and attitudes both within its walls (staff and pupils) and beyond (parents, politicians and observers). He illustrates his arguments with an appropriate use of reminiscences, school magazines, songs, and speeches. Unlike much academic writing on public schools, Tozer takes us past the First World War and into the twenty-first century. This allows him to comment on some broader issues such as the expansion of physical education for women and the reinvention of the wheel as educationalists accepted Thring’s ideas that physical education was a development tool rather than one of discipline. Although he was not acknowledged by the instigators, Tozer postulates that the National Curriculum for Physical Education owed much to Thring’s legacy from Uppingham. As always Tozer writes an entertaining, informative and readable narrative which makes a significant contribution to sports, physical education and educational history.”
Wray Vamplew
Global Professorial Fellow, Academy of Sport; University of Edinburgh
“Edward Thring’s Theory, Practice and Legacy is a valuable and much-needed contribution to historical study of physical education. Tozer’s grasp of his historical material is always assured as he leads us through the highs and lows of Thring’s mission to establish his vision of physical education at the centre of school life. […] Moreover, he provides a masterclass on how to tell a good story while presenting a balanced, evidence-based account of the development of educational ideas and the people who made them. Tozer provides an important counter-point to traditional assumptions about the historical influence and legacy of the independent school sector. […] He argues that recent modern ideas about physical education, from the 1970s to the present, owe more to Thring’s theory and practice than to the much vaunted ‘cult of athleticism’ commonly associated with Thomas Arnold. Thring’s emphasis on what we would now call ‘inclusion’, for example, is very much a preoccupation of contemporary scholars and practitioners of physical education around the world as we are faced with increasing diversity in schools.”
Professor David Kirk
University of Strathclyde, UK, in Physical Education Matters
“As ever with a Malcolm Tozer volume, it has been wonderfully and dutifully researched, well written and has a cover design which just begs to sit on the shelves of everyone already steeped in the subject […] or those who are studying the subject at A or Degree level. This is a superb read - and I commend it most highly.”
Paul Jackson, UK, in Prep School Magazine
“Those familiar with Malcolm Tozer’s previous works on Thring will not be surprised to know that this very readable, elegantly produced and delightfully illustrated book fully meets its author’s goal of furthering our understanding of Thring, his practice and his legacy. [T]his refreshed and refreshing account of Thring, Uppingham, and the history of physical education in Britain since 1800 provides an important and timely re-evaluation of the role of physical education at Thring’s Uppingham, while further examining the legacy of that role in the present practice of physical education. […] As a bonus, Tozer’s new analysis offers some further intriguing questions: could physical education really have a more secure future within the National Curriculum if its history were better understood and the importance of Thring’s legacy more fully appreciated by current physical educators and educational policy makers? [W]hen physical education’s place in the school curriculum is under increasing scrutiny and pressure, Tozer sensibly reminds us that Thring’s insistence upon nurturing the talents of each individual pupil is central to any purposeful curriculum; and that physical education is a central component of that curriculum. As such, I echo Tozer’s hope that this book will indeed inform teacher trainers, trainee teachers and practicing teachers about the men and women who have striven since 1800 to sustain a foothold for physical education in the curriculum for every pupil in British schools; and chief amongst them, Edward Thring.”
Professor Timothy Chandler
Towson University, USA, in Sport in History
“For historians interested in the institutional underpinnings of physical education in Britain, for those interested in the transnational elements of British education and for those interested in the inner workings of the English public school across time, Tozer’s work will not only prove to be of interest, but as a motivator to continue research in this field. For the sheer depth of research alone, his latest study has the potential to act as both a reference guide and a stepping stone for more work in this field. Throughout the book, great efforts are made to explore the implications of physical education at both the policy level and the personal level. […] This intimate view of a student’s or educator’s experience gives the book a level of insight often missing in studies of physical education which tend to focus more on policies than personalities. […] As is to be expected of Tozer, the book is well-researched, thoroughly engaging and well-written.’
Assistant Professor Conor Heffernan
University of Texas at Austin, USA, in History of Education
“While the aim of Malcolm Tozer’s meticulously researched, balanced and beautifully written book is clearly to explore Thring’s contribution to modern PE, in doing so he successfully deconstructs some of the generally held truths about public schools and the institution’s role in the development of the subject. … [He] makes clear the contrast that some historians failed to grasp: ‘Thring’s Uppingham was an Athens surrounded by Spartan strongholds’. He … transports the reader to that time and place through vivid descriptions, colourful anecdotes, and a wealth of other first-hand accounts and primary sources.
I highly recommend this book for … PE undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Many students are misinformed about the impact of the public school in relation to PE. … The ideal antidote to this is Malcolm Tozer’s balanced historical account of the life, work and legacy of Edward Thring at Uppingham. … If we cannot learn from the remarkable 34 years that Thring gave to Uppingham School and the legacy he gave to PE more generally, I contend that the PE community will fail to make an effective and reasoned case for the future of the subject.’
Ruan Jones
Senior Lecturer, Leeds Beckett University, in Sport Education and Society