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The Goals of Science Education

The Goals of Science Education

The Working Men’s College

(p.119) Chapter Four The Goals of Science Education
Huxley's Church and Maxwell's Demon
Matthew Stanley
University of Chicago Press

The myth of inevitable conflict between science and religion grew out of a genuine battleground - the control of educational institutions in Britain. Huxley and the scientific naturalists were frustrated by the close alliance between the universities and the established church, and fought tirelessly to create a space for science education free of any theological control. Figures such as the evangelical Maxwell moved comfortably in these Anglican institutions and saw it as critical that science be taught in the larger context of traditional liberal arts. Despite this deep split, Maxwell and Huxley found themselves at one point volunteering to teach for the same school - the Working Men’s College, a project of the controversial theologian F.D. Maurice. The surprising circumstance of the agnostic and the evangelical teaching science under the guidance of Christian Socialists helps tease out the actual issues involved in the control of Victorian science education.

Keywords:   James Clerk Maxwell, Thomas Henry Huxley, F.D. Maurice, Working Men’s College, science education, Christian socialism, moral value of science

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