Miscellaneous Observations Relating to Education: More Especially as it Respects the Conduct of the Mind

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The English polymath Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) wrote on a wide range of scientific, theological and pedagogical subjects. After the appearance of his influential Rudiments of English Grammar (1761) and A Course of Lectures on the Theory of Language and Universal Grammar (1762), both of which are reissued in this series, Priestley produced in 1765 his Essay on a Course of Liberal Education, which is included and expanded on in this 1778 publication. Here he explains the reasons behind his decision to guide the curriculum at Warrington Academy towards a greater focus on subjects with a more direct application to 'civil and active life'. He offers more general instruction on the cultivation of young men in various spheres, notably through foreign travel and developing 'knowledge of the world'. Priestley ends by outlining a suggested course of lectures on the history and laws of England.