chapter  2
14 Pages

Popular dilemmas, radical strategies and the inter-war Labour Party

The range of historical phenomena representing popular educational aspirations and dilemmas has been huge. It has included forms of popular activity usually regarded as neither ‘educational’ nor ‘political’: the forms of resistance of working-class pupils in schools, the use of non-school facilities as educational resources (all the informal ways of learning in the home, peer group, neighbourhood, or place of work) and the patterns of behaviour associated with school attendance, especially revealing of popular attitudes to schooling before the coming of compulsory attendance. In this chapter, however, we are mainly concerned with organized forms of popular politics and, in particular, with a definite historical succession usually summed up in such terms as ‘the Labour movement’ or ‘the working-class movement’.