The principle of systematic initial training for teachers was a new one in the early nineteenth century. It was an idea whose currency widened with the inception of mass elementary schooling and which was not thereafter seriously challenged. 1 The form and content, and more fundamentally, the purpose of such training have, however, been extensively debated from the early blueprints of Lancaster, Bell, Stow, Kay-Shuttleworth and Coleridge through to the more familiar models of our own day.