A cultural history of the modern school. Unlike Marxian and liberal theories of education, this book does not see the school as a failed expression of principles of equality, rational choice and personal development; instead, using Foucault's genealogical method, it argues that the school is a result of improvization by a series of obscure officials who were responding to problems of state building and social discipline. In particular, it focuses on the role of Christian pastoral guidance in forming the pedagogical techniques and relationships of the modern school.