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Title: Working class adult education in Yorkshire, 1918-1939
Author: Kumbhat, Christine Pushpa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 0440
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis considers the place of workers’ adult education in the world of the British labour movement, and what impact it may have had on worker-students as citizens. It concentrates on three voluntary working class adult education organisations – the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), The National Council of Labour Colleges (NCLC), and the Co-operative. The WEA delivered an impartial, non sectarian, non-political programme of education in the liberal arts and humanities with the support of universities and Local Education Authorities. The NCLC promoted a programme of Marxist education, and accepted support only from working class organisations, predominantly trade unions. The Co-operative wished to develop ‘Co operative character’ through education as a means to building a ‘Co-operative Commonwealth.’ This thesis explores the extent to which each organisation made an impact in Yorkshire between the wars. It does this in a variety of ways; by analysing the diversity of thought on socialism and democracy in the intellectual world of the labour movement during the inter-war era; presenting a historiographical context of workers’ adult education in Yorkshire from the nineteenth to the twentieth century; evaluating the Co operative’s success at establishing a Co-operative Commonwealth through education; exploring the relationship between the trades councils of Yorkshire and the three adult education organisations; researching the biographies of municipal public students known to have been worker-students; analysing the value of workers’ adult education from the perspective of the regional press; and studying the lived experience of workers’ adult education from the perspective of worker-students, tutors and administrators. The resounding theme that emerges by the end of the thesis is how working class adult education was connected consistently with democracy – that workers’ adult education, whatever form it took, supported a democratic model of active participatory citizenship based on idealism, as well as ethical and moral interpretations of social democracy.
Supervisor: Whiting, Richard ; Chase, Malcolm Sponsor: University of Leeds
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available