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Title: Education culture and politics : the philosophy of education of Raymond Williams
Author: Stevens, Philip James
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1992
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As far as I have been able to discover Raymond Williams's writing on education has not been the subject of an extensive study. This is surprising since Williams's educational writings, although not presented systematically, represent a considerable contribution to thinking about education in the late twentieth century. Since Williams's death in 1988 several articles have been published dealing with specific areas of this aspect of his work (1), but although useful, these provide only the beginnings of an account of Williams's philosophy of education. Williams has been described as the 'single most masterly, original cultural thinker in Britain of the twentieth century' and his work has invoked comparisons with writers of the stature of Sartre and Habermas (2). Of the thirty or so books, hundreds of articles, and radio and television programmes Williams wrote over forty years, most contained a sustained interest in education. Raymond Williams, as Professor of Drama at the University of Cambridge, was an academic. He was also a literary critic, social and cultural analyst, novelist, playwright, and political activist. Most of all, through the medium of his writings, Williams was a teacher. The task of this thesis will be to reveal a theory of education from this substantial and varied body of writing which crossed the boundaries of 'discrete' discourses and subjects. At the heart of this theory is the claim that education and politics are inextricably linked. In the Introduction I outline the major areas of Williams's thought, link these with the development of his professional life and his influence as a teacher, and discuss the difficulties presented by Williams' notoriously complex writing style. In Chapter 1 I identify and discuss the key concept in Williams's writing in relation to education, i.e., culture. Chapter 2 is concerned to examine Williams's writing on education and to link these with the key concept outlined in Chapter 1. The principal aim of Chapter 3 is to identify the major issues which taken together form the basis of a political theory and a theory of political education in the work of Raymond Williams. Chapter 4 is a key chapter in which I attempt to 'translate' Williams's abstract and complex writing style into amore accessible form, through an analysis of his major themes relating to politics and education, i.e., solidarity, community and ecology. Chapter 5 includes a discussion of two examples of educational programmes decisively influenced by Williams's writing, i.e., Cultural Studies and Urban Studies. As a philosopher of education Williams was a generalist; that is to say, he was concerned, in the tradition of Dewey, with broad educational issues. An example of this approach would be the way in which he attempts to link education with democracy. It is in the spirit of this tradition that the thesis is written.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Humanities and Social Sciences