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Ministry of Enthusiasm: Centenary Essays on the Workers' Educational Association

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With contributions from practitioners and scholars in adult education, 'A Ministry of Enthusiasm' sets the WEA in its historical and social context, tracing its development, and asks key questions about the provision of adult education today. Has it become a middle-class movement? Is it an instrument of social change or is it an academic institution along classical lines? Is it an autonomous voluntary organisation or has it become an arm of the state educational service? The contributors provide answers to these questions from a variety of perspectives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book offers an overview of the important themes in the WEA's history and relates the past to the present and future of the association. More importantly it shows just how valuable a contribution the WEA has made to lifelong learning." —Tony Blair, from the foreword
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745319087
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 3/20/2003
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

As a professional historian, Stephen K. Roberts is currently an Editor with the History of Parliament Trust, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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Table of Contents

Brief Chronology of the WEA: The First 100 years
Introduction 1
1 The WEA - The Foundation and the Founder 12
2 Battersea and the Formation of the Workers' Educational Association 26
3 The First Students in the Workers' Educational Association: Individual Enlightenment and Collective Advance 41
4 R. H. Tawney and the WEA 59
5 The Evolution of the WEA in the West Midlands, 1905-26 77
6 The Friends and Enemies of the WEA 97
7 'A Hard Rain's A-gonna Fall': The National Association and Internationalism 1918-39 111
8 Survival, Growth and Retreat: The WEA in Wartime, 1939-45 131
9 Unions, Adult Education and Post-war Citizenship: The WEA and the Construction of Trade Union Education 153
10 Ideology and Provision: The WEA and the Politics of Workers' Education in Early Twentieth-century Scotland 176
11 The WEA and Workers' Education in Early Twentieth-century Wales 198
12 Women's Involvement in the WEA and Women's Education 215
13 Literature, Cultural Studies and the WEA 238
14 From Day Release to Lifelong Learning: Workplace Education and the WEA after 1964 259
15 WEA Values in the Twenty-first Century 274
16 WEA Voices 292
Notes on Contributors 312
Index 314
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