From Popular Enlightenment to Lifelong Learning: A History of Adult Education in Scotland 1707-2005 (Paperback)Anthony Cooke (author)
Paperback Published: 01/02/2006
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This is the first full-length history of adult education in Scotland, from 1707 to 2005. It explores the distinctively Scottish/Calvinist concepts of popular education, self-help and self-improvement, which have had a prodigious influence worldwide, due in large to the Scottish diaspora. This authoritative book explores the development of the institutions of adult education in Scotland, including Mechanics? Institutes, Mutual Improvement Societies, University Extension, and the Labour College movement. At its core is an analysis of over sixty autobiographies by Scots-born working men and women. They reveal the limitations of schooling for many Scots in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and their reliance on self-education and mutual instruction. They also illustrate many aspects of popular culture, including questions of ?respectability?, drink versus temperance and the role of adult education in radical politics. The book challenges the conventional wisdom put forward by many previous histories of British adult education. They have placed heavy emphasis on the political role of adult education and its contribution towards helping the Labour and trade union movement either challenge or come to terms with the existing social and political system. However, many learners, at least those who have left accounts behind, were concerned at least as much with individual advancement and ?getting on? in life, as with the advancement of their class as a whole. Indeed, the Labour movement itself was often used as a ladder of social mobility by many of its more ambitious and successful activists. This book will appeal to those with an interest in the history and development of adult education, as well as those interested in Scottish social history and popular culture.
Publisher: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
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