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There are many aspects of an education system that only make sense if we know how that system has developed over time. Part of this comes from knowing how institutions have changed, but it is also important to understand how ideas in education have developed. This book discusses the continuous development of educational thought over three millennia. The focus upon the history of ideas in this volume is partly an attempt to move history of education away from an approach based on 'great men' to technological, economic and political influences on ideas and beliefs. It reviews many issues, ranging from the purposes of education from the earliest times, to the challenge of postmodernism in the present century. The authors provide an accessible and thought-provoking guide to the educational ideas that underlie practice.