GREAT BRITAIN AFTER THE WAR.
E.—The Education of the Adult.
One-half of every community must always be above the age
up to which education, in the widest sense, should be the sole
concern. These, too, must be educated, if we are to escape
from living too much under the palsied hand of the last
generation! The community must provide for the continued
culture even of its mature members, in order that they may
efficiently discharge their responsibilities as producers of the
nation's wealth, guardians of the nation's children, and governors of the nation's destiny. Voluntary effort, as we see it in
the activities of churches, trade unions, clubs, etc., will cany
on much of this "organisation of leisure.' Some of it will
doubtless long be left to the commercial enterprise which now
provides us with the " pictures," theatres and music-halls.
Some of it, again—as, for example, the provision of " Extension " lectures—is clearly one of the tasks of every live
University. But it is plain that in order to secure education
as well as entertainment, &n increasing amount of organised
provision for the adult should be made by the Central and
Local Education Authorities : e.g., the organisation of public
lectures, the extension of facilities for home reading and study,
the development of reference libraries and newsrooms,
museums, art galleries, botanical and zoological gardens, the
increase of organised opportunities for travel, the establishment
of public cinematograph shows, concert halls and theatres—all
as a policy of " organising leisure,' for the whole community.
Adult education, in this wide sense, must be made one of the
principal items of expenditure of our Central and Local
It may fairly be claimed that, as a contribution to this part
of our educational system, no more promising enterprise was
ever set going in this country than the classes built up by the
efforts of the Workers' Educational Association. This method
of education, in which a group of students voluntarily band
themselves together to maJke an intensive study of a subject,
chosen by themselves—with its 'mutually helpful co-operation
of instructed guidance and free choice, of collective organisation, and individual initiative, of public funds and personal contributions—may well prove to be a leading feature of the social
life of the " Great State."