the McMillan sisters. Dewey, Isaacs and Neill. It has found frequent expression in private schools, from the more widely-known such as Abbotsholme and Bedales to a multitude of suburban kindergartens. It has appeared and reappeared in state education, its practice documented by teachers such as Holmes (1952) and Tustin (1950) and advocated both by educational writers (for example, Caldwell Cook, 1917; Catty, 1949) and by official reports, in particular, the Hadow Report (CCBE, 1931), and the Plowden Report (CACE, 1967). More recently, it has run as one thread through all the recent surveys of primary and middle schools by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate and through the Report of the Education, Science and Arts Committee (1986), notwithstanding the fact that they are set in the context of accountability, assessment and cuts in resources. It supports the notion that classrooms can be places in which pupils are actively engaged in constructing their own learning and solving their own problems, guided and assisted by teachers with whom they enjoy a relaxed but mutually respectful relationship, exploring many aspects of human experience without losing hold of ‘the basic skills’. In this sense it is not radical.