Abstract

This paper provides a brief overview of literature on the rise and fall of early 20th century experiments in North American socialist adult education. Through a Marxist-Feminist theoretical framework, we examine and contrast the contributions of the folk school movement and the more explicitly socialist labour colleges to the broader field of adult education in Canada and the United States. We suggest that the demise of the socialist schools must be seen as a consequence of both internal philosophical and political struggles over the questions of gender and race, as well as the external forces of liberalism and state repression during the Cold War era.

Keywords

socialism, radical adult education, state repression, feminism

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Jun 10th, 6:05 PM

The Rise and Fall of Socialist Adult Education in North America: Theorizing from the Literature

This paper provides a brief overview of literature on the rise and fall of early 20th century experiments in North American socialist adult education. Through a Marxist-Feminist theoretical framework, we examine and contrast the contributions of the folk school movement and the more explicitly socialist labour colleges to the broader field of adult education in Canada and the United States. We suggest that the demise of the socialist schools must be seen as a consequence of both internal philosophical and political struggles over the questions of gender and race, as well as the external forces of liberalism and state repression during the Cold War era.