The question that this paper seeks to explore is to what extent Don Bosco’s educational approach was received and accepted in England and to what extent it was itself modified in the process of meeting a new and alien culture. Part of the debate involves the English perception that some aspects of Don Bosco’s Preventive System to the eyes of some foreign Salesians the existence of corporal punishment in Salesian schools was a direct contradiction of Don Bosco’s approach to education. In order to understand this cultural incomprehension, this essay looks at the nature of the English educational context in Victorian England. It will highlight one particular issue where the Salesian approach to education was significantly modified by its experience in England i.e. how corporal punishment came to be incorporated into the practice in the English Salesian schools.
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