Walker, Martyn (2017) The emergence of teacher supply for adult education institutions and technical colleges from the 1950s to the 1960s and beyond. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 22 (3). pp. 429-441. ISSN 1359-6748

When mechanics’ and similar institutions became established by the middle of the nineteenth century, there was goodwill amongst committee members and volunteers to teach the classes. The institutes were not government-funded and relied on patronage and membership fees to fund them. There was a shortage of teachers for the classes as those who were qualified were trained to teach in schools. In any case, many institutes could rarely afford to appoint more than one or two, if any, qualified teachers. However, the reputation and on-going success of such adult institutions depended on good quality teaching and learning. The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London had highlighted that Britain was losing its leading industrial position in the World. This shook the government and as a result Royal Commissions were set up which, ultimately, resulted in the Technical Instruction Act of 1889 and the Local Tax Act of 1890, both of which in their own way resulted in state funded support for adult technical education. The paper summarises how institutes responded to the challenges of providing good teaching and learning in support of adult education and the introduction of post-compulsory teacher training after the Second World War.

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