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ERIC Number: ED443605
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Back to the Land? Service and Self-Interest in Adult Education in Rural England, 1920-1945.
Deacon, Bernard; Thompson, Lynne
Between the World Wars, a strong current of thought saw "the rural" as a reservoir of the spiritual capital of the nation, a view that stimulated back-to-the-land movements across western Europe. But the inter-war period also saw growing encounters of the urban and rural worlds, one of the interfaces being rural adult education. This paper presents two case studies of rural adult education in England during this period and argues that, despite apparent differences, both cases represent an ethos of "service and self-interest." They were both top-down interventions that allowed professional and administrative elites to move to and work in rural areas. Both projects also imagined the rural within a particular framework of class and gender relations. In Cornwall, the Workers Educational Association, in partnership with a university, extended liberal adult education to rural areas as a means of opening the gates to individual liberation. The ideological framework was one of service, but an outcome of self-interest is apparent as educators established their position as interpreters of academic culture to rural communities. In Devon, county-sponsored agricultural education for adults included "manual process" classes (in such areas as plowing and milking) that aimed to keep a low-paid but valued sector of the British race on the land, and "women's institutes" in horticulture and food preservation that promoted "active domesticity" at home or in the Empire. Government agricultural directives and funding were translated into agricultural education in Devon by the Agricultural Organiser, who also built an empire in the process with the tacit approval of the county council. (Contains 11 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)