The historical development of 'education' as an end to poverty
Dr David Hitchcock | Open Lecture Series 2021 | Lecture 3 - May 11th 2021
“There’s only one real politics, and that’s politics on a weekly wage. All the rest, well. We can all talk.”
-- Raymond Williams, Border Country
One of many threads weaving through the astounding and varied scholarship of Raymond Williams was (ideal) community, its formation, and who might be excluded from it. Since at least the advent of Christian humanism, and following Plato, Europeans have considered the central place of education in the formation of ideal communities. This lecture will consider certain strands of the historical development of education as an engine of social mobility, and particularly as an end to poverty. Sometimes, as with utopian literature or radical Enlightenment proposals for the creation of universal citizenries, this impulse to use education as a prime vehicle for radical betterment is obvious. What is less obvious are the hidden uses to which these ideals are put: education as social betterment for whom and to what ends remain urgent questions, and between history and Raymond William's work we can offer some answers.
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