chapter  Chapter 11
10 Pages

Community Education and Social Movements

WithTom Lovett, Chris Clarke, Avila Kilmurray

Community education, because of its initial concern with the question of how to reach the working class and how to relate to many of the problems and issues they face stimulated a great deal of debate about choice and authority, which might be said to be the fulcrum of democratic education. In relation to choice, as is repeatedly pointed out, adult students are not compelled to attend education programmes. It is easy to claim that democracy amounts to student control over an education programme, with teaching staff conforming to students’ wishes. If democratic education is to have any sense, students must be consulted about the programmes they enter, both in terms of curriculum and standard procedures and in relation to particular incidents and grievances. Education involves a commitment to some notion of what it is to be educated, not in a universal sense, but in relation to some implied or explicit social objectives.