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From 'Character-Training' to 'Personal Growth': The Early History of Outward Bound 1941-1965

Freeman, Mark (2011) From 'Character-Training' to 'Personal Growth': The Early History of Outward Bound 1941-1965. History of Education, 40 (1). pp. 21-43. ISSN 0046-760X. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

This article examines the approach to ‘character training’ in the early years of the Outward Bound movement in Britain between c.1940 and c.1965. It examines the key components of the concept of ‘character-training’ promoted in the Outward Bound schools by Kurt Hahn and his early followers, and some of the criticisms to which the four-week courses were subjected. It goes on to examine the reassessment of the rhetoric and practices of Outward Bound that took place in the 1960s, and argues that the changes that took place were the outcome of a more sceptical approach to ‘character-training’ on the part of a younger generation of Outward Bound leaders. Although these changes were contested and incomplete, they reflected developments in other areas of British life in this period, such as the probation service. They resulted in the replacement of the language of ‘character training’with an agenda of ‘personal growth’ and ‘self-discovery’.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2014 14:26
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:13
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