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Does education equal school? Why do so many politicians [and others] think so? If it does, then what about pre-school education, further education, higher education, adult education and so on? This core textbook introduces the reader to the study of education itself. It invites the reader to question what education is, who it is for and what purpose it serves. It challenges the assumption that education equals school and takes the reader on a trip from the cradle to old age, examining all forms of education and learning on the way. Fully revised and updated with eight new chapters, this new edition includes: full exploration of the historical, sociological, philosophical and psychological roots and branches of education a clear focus on individual levels of education preschool, compulsory, post-compulsory and lifelong education the latest controversies and debates within special educational needs clear insights into the historical development of education and into the role and background to research in education a focus of current educational practice and diversity across the whole United Kingdom. Written in a clear and welcoming style, this is the key text for beginning students in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Education Studies and all those wishing to broaden their knowledge of education today, where it came from and where it is going.