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The building blocks of education by Margaret McMillian

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Jennifer Trotter

on 6 December 2016

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Transcript of The building blocks of education by Margaret McMillian

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Margaret McMillan was a Christian Socialist that agitated for reforms to improve the health of young children and pioneered a play-centered approach to learning that has only latterly found wide acceptance.
Margaret McMillan
It was during her work touring the industrial regions speaking at meetings and visiting the homes of the poor that she began to focus on trying to improve the physical and intellectual welfare of the slum child.
In 1892 Margaret joined Dr. James Kerr, Bradford’s school medical officer, to carry out the first medical inspection of elementary school children in Britain. It was during this medical inspection that with the problems they found began a campaign to improve the health of children.
In her later years Margaret McMillan became interested in the subject of nursing.
"The schools of that day, even for well-to-do children whose parents paid high fees (our mother paid them with difficulty), had a low standard in respect of hygiene. Dusty walls, greasy slates, no hot water and no care of the physical body.”
Reason for change!

Margaret McMillan
Open Air Nursery
By Jennifer Trotter

In 1904 she published her most important book, Education through the Imagination (1904).
"The brain of every man or child is a kind of world in which various degrees of creative energy are represented"
After her passing, her friend Walter Cresswell wrote a memoir of the McMillan sisters: "Such persons, single-minded, pure in heart, blazing with selfless love, are the jewels of our species. There is more essential Christianity in them than in a multitude of bishops."

Information gathered for Research on Margaret McMillan
http://earlychildhoodhistory.weebly.com/the-nursery-school.html
http://spartacus-educational.com/Wmcmillan.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_McMillan
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/women/wh31.htm
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She with the help of her sister Rachel and Katharine Glasier, lead the campaign for school meals and eventually the House of Commons became convinced that hungry children cannot learn and passed the 1906 Provision of School Meals Act.
In 1914 Margaret along with her sister Rachel founded the Open-Air Nursery School & Training center in Deptford for children from eighteen months to seven years and for adult trainees. They called their program a “Nursery School”, to demonstrate their care and concern with nurture as well as learning.
The sisters focused on
education via a child’s
‘sense of wonder’
and believed teachers
must know what
attracts children and
engages their attention.
The McMillan’s had an influence on nursery schools in the United States, as Kindergartens were growing and expanding quickly across the US, nursery schools gained speed in efforts to meet the needs of children younger than kindergarten-age.
In 1927 Margaret McMillan later recalled her first experience of schooling in Inverness. ”Our mother was possessed by one aim - to give us children a proper education. She spared nothing in the pursuit of this end."
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