HMI - Training for Adult Education (1965)
This 15-page pamphlet reported the findings of an HMI survey into the provision of training for adult education tutors by the Responsible Bodies and by Departments of Adult Education.
The text of HMI Survey of Training for Adult Education was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 29 June 2023.
Training for Adult Education in England and Wales (1965)
A Report by HM Inspectorate
London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1965
SURVEY BY H. M. INSPECTORS OF
England and Wales during
THIS SURVEY is confidential and may not be published save by the express direction of the competent authority. If published it must be published in its entirety.
CURZON STREET, LONDON, W.1.
The Reports of H.M. Inspectors on classes conducted by the Responsible Bodies since 1948 lead to the conclusion that when the work is less effective than it might be, the cause is hardly ever to be sought in lack of scholarship in the tutor but not infrequently in the arrangement and presentation of the subject and in methods of teaching. These are matters which can scarcely be considered in isolation from some conception of the personal and social motives of adult students, the standards and purposes of liberal Adult Education, and the learning processes among adults both as individuals and members of small groups. There appears, therefore, to be a prima facie case for assuming that there is a body of knowledge and skill relevant to effective adult teaching - an assumption which is confirmed by the practice of a growing number of Responsible Bodies in providing training courses for their tutors. This Survey seeks to outline the present problem, and endeavours to make some appraisals which may be of assistance in further development. It takes cognisance of all tutor training carried out by the Responsible Bodies in the academic year 1963-4. It also considers some work done by separately organised Departments of Adult Education and some training courses arranged by the Responsible Bodies for the adult education staff of Local Education Authorities.
The survey is concerned solely with training for teaching, not with the academic education of tutors. It was carried out in two stages. The second involved visits by H.M. Inspectors to almost all organised and some informal training courses and activities arranged during the year, and discussions with those responsible for and involved in them, as well as some attention to the effect of these activities on classes taken by the participants. It also included conversations with some officials of the Association of Tutors in Adult Education and the Educational Centres Association, which recently relinquished Responsible Body status, but whose member centres sponsor a substantial number of Responsible Body classes. These enquiries and visits were based on the first stage of the survey. This aImed to elicit, by means of a questionnaIre and individual discussions with Directors of Extra-Mural Departments and W. E.A. [Workers' Educational Association] District Secretaries, the most complete information available on the Responsible Bodies' views, principles and activities, on their links where training is concerned with other institutions, on the traIning, background and qualIfications of theIr full- and part-time tutors, and on the trainIng activities and pastoral care provided for them. As far as tutors' qualifications, their experience and their training background are concerned, the survey relies on the knowledge the Responsible Bodies themselves had of their staff in these respects.
This survey therefore makes some use of the expressed opinions of the Responsible Bodies and of individuals concerned with this sector of adult education. H.M. Inspectors are grateful for the wide and
helpful co-operation which they received from all those in the Responsible Bodies and Faculties of Education who assisted them with these enquiries. The conclusions and recommendations of the survey are, of course their own responsibility.
The whole question of training for Responsible Body teaching needs to be consIdered In relation to the varied but often difficult conditions under which it is done, and the equally varied sources from which staff are recruited. All Responsible Bodies expect their full-time staff to have good honours degrees. Some, more particularly University bodies, but also one or two W.E.A. Districts, are in a position to insist on successful and relevant experience of Adult Education prior to appointment. Others, includIng many Extra-Mural Departments, tend to appoint young graduates, or scholars who have taken a higher degree following graduation, but who have no teaching experience. The W.E.A. is rarely in a position to acquire the services of experienced staff, and the difference between its salary scale and that for Universities not uncommonly results in the departure of its tutor organisers as soon as they have acquired enough experience adequately to discharge their exacting tasks.
The background of the part-time teaching force varies very widely indeed. All Responsible Bodies tend, in the first instance, to look to internal University staff, and some Extra-Mural Departments will rarely employ anyone else. Others - notably the W.E.A. whose lower fee scales may limit its choice to some extent - look for tutors of the right qualifications, experience and personal character regardless of their full-time occupations. The sIze of a Responsible Body area and the ease of travel within it play a consIderable part in these matters. Many Responsible BodIes make extensIve and successful use of school teachers, members of training college staffs and various other professional men and women. In 1962-63, 1,847 of the 3,525 part-time tutors employed by the Extra-Mural Departments alone were "from outsIde".
Notable changes in the composItion of the teaching force, both full- and part-time, appear to have been taking place in recent years. Among full-time staff the number of those who see Adult Education as theIr lIfe work dIminishes gradually compared with those who enter the fIeld in the hope of moving over to internal posts in UnIversIties. During a period of rapId UnIversIty expansIon thIs tendency may be expected to accelerate. A comparable change is notIceable among part-time tutors. Under the growing pressures of research and administration the number of experIenced and senIor UniversIty and other teachers who partIcIpate in the work is shrinking. They are being replaced by young and relatively or entIrely inexperienced lecturers, teachers and research students, whose period of connection with adult education tends to be limited.
These changes result in a rapid turnover of the part-time teaching force, and a low proportion of experienced tutors, as
shown by the following table. The figures are based on those given by Responsible Bodies which had information about their tutors' length of service with them.
This sample of about half the total number of tutors employed shows that over a quarter are beginners, while another third are still gathering initial experience, mostly at the rate of one class meeting a week. Only two fifths of the whole part-time force have four or more years' experience. The turnover rate for the W.E.A. is slIghtly hIgher than that for the UnIversIties, and it has a slightly lower proportion of experienced long term tutors. Both sets of figures suggest a substantial training problem, aggravated in the case of the W.E.A. by its relatively smaller resources of full-time staff, and, in some Districts, by their lesser experience.
Very little information was available from Responsible Bodies on the extent to which tutors employed by them had received any training in teaching techniques. Yet the work of the Responsible Body tutor differs from most other teaching situations in ways which demand skill of a high order. His students exhibit a vast range of intellectual ability and background. They come voluntarily and with very varied and sometimes academically irrelevant motives. They come at the end of a day's work, at a time of life when many of them are not in the habit of regular and demanding study. Yet this is the process in which the tutor must engage them or fail in his task, or lose his class. Moreover, most of the students make their first approach to Responsible Body classes with some trepidation, and disappointment or failure will often mean that no second attempt is made. The tutor not merely faces a difficult task but some personal and academic responsibility. Except in such favourable circumstances as he may meet where his class is part of an integrated programme, for instance in an Adult Education Centre, he works in isolation from colleagues, often at some distance from them, and with a unique class. If he is a part-time tutor he will inevitably be somewhat remote from those who administer the work, and unaware of the pattern it helps to form. Few Responsible Body tutors can look for objective results measured by examination or any other means. The proof of their work is within it, and within the changes that may be wrought in the students' activities and lives, often many years later. Even enrolment for subsequent classes is no sure guide; adult students have been known to attach themselves very firmly to tutors whose personal attraction exceeded their academic effectiveness.
Responsible Body teaching, then, is an exacting task carried out under frequently difficult circumstances by a part-time teaching force of whIch three fifths are young or inexperienced, and a small full-time force of 311 tutors of whom a majority are devoted and enthusiastic, while a growing minority shape their work and seek their career prospects elsewhere. The attitudes of the Responsible Bodies to the question of training tutors for their task must be seen against this background. Replies to the questionnaIre showed that they vary considerably. One Responsible Body equates "systematic training in teaching techniques" with the possession of a good honours degree, others not only regard training as essential but ensure that their full- and part-time staff obtain it in some measure. One contributor notes "the practice of leaving many new tutors, full- or part-time, to sink or swim" and adds: "There is the underlying feeling that adult educators learn by sheer experience. It seems to be the view that if a man has got a good honours degree and is keen ... the rest will follow automatIcally ... the feeling is there among the full-timers who, at the same time, readily admit the need for the training of part-timers." Another regards training as irrelevant because he "cannot think of any really good tutor who ever had any, and after all there is no training for UnIversity staff ..." A group of experienced tutors, on the other hand, comments that training would "speed the progress of the very best, improve the competence of the average, and limit the damage done by the worst."
Between such extremes views vary widely. There are also certain differences between the responses of Extra-Mural Departments and W.E.A. Districts, which recur sufficiently often to suggest the generalisation that the Workers' Education Association attaches more importance to training and organises itself to deal with it to some extent. While some Extra-Mural Departments make similar arrangements it is more than twice as common for W.E.A. Districts to send full-time tutors in their first posts to one of the extended courses or to make systematic training arrangements for them at home. More W.E.A. Districts than Extra-Mural Departments hold courses for part-time tutors, and several profess a desire to do so if they could obtain more assistance from local Extra-Mural Departments.
A growing number of Responsible Bodies send out printed or cyclostyled leaflets to tutors. Some of these are mainly concerned with administrative guidance, and are rather general in their remarks about teaching aims and methods. A few Extra-Mural Departments have, however, produced material whIch gives more specific guidance; yet there is evidence that some of these publications may be used in a somewhat haphazard manner, may not reach all tutors, or may not be read and studied by them.
The views described were largely based on considerations that cannot be ignored. It was alleged that some internal University teachers consider that by submitting to some form of pedagogical training they cast doubts on their professional competence, and it is among internal University staff that resistance to training for
Adult Education is most marked. There is also the question of time and cost. Most part-time tutors are busy people who may be able to fit in a class or two, but can rarely undertake a continuous training course at the same time. Some part-time tutors consider that they should not only have theIr expenses met, but ought to be paid at the full rate while learning how to earn it; conversely some Responsible Bodies expect their tutors to meet expenses or even pay fees for training courses. Some Responsible Bodies have no members of staff who could offer effective training courses, and the funds available to all of them are strictly limited. Few Departments or Institutes of Education interest themselves in adult education techniques.
Notwithstanding these difficulties there are signs of change in a number of areas. A significant development is that one Department is receiving occasional requests for courses on teaching method from internal Departments of its own University. A few Responsible Bodies make training a condition of appointment, without finding that anyone is less eager to serve. During the period of the survey there was a sIgnificant increase in the number of all courses conducted, some by Responsible Bodies which had never before made such provision, and others following upon long intervals. Several have begun to consider making appointments partly or exclusively concerned with training.
It is signIficant that, on the whole, training courses tend to attract especially those tutors who, comparatively speaking, are least in need of them. They are rarely attended by those whose needs are greatest. It is unusual indeed for a tutor who has attended any one of the training courses to be anything but appreciative of its benefits to hIm and to his students. Many courses are arranged in response to demand from tutors, and both on an area basis and nationally the Association of Tutors in Adult Education makes a notable contribution. But it seems unlikely that a large proportion of those most in need of training will participate in it unless it is either made virtually a prerequisite of appointment or carries financial rewards.
It may well be that some full-time tutors in adult education are under the impression that, if they wish to further their careers, their research needs to be exclusively concerned with their academIc subject rather than with their profession of adult education. There are some Responsible Bodies which are not inclined to encourage educational research by their staffs. Research in adult education is carried out on a limited scale in a small number of Universities, both in post-graduate diploma courses and by senior members of staff. A number of higher degrees have been awarded in the subject. Most of these studies are concerned with surveys, history, the claims of institutions, and with general ideas; a relatively small proportion communicates practical advice and experience, more particularly on a subject basis. Yet pedagogical training clearly needs to have a firm basis in controlled experIment and research.
There are very few British contributions to studies in the psychology and sociology of adult learning or the motives of students and groups, and correspondingly fewer still in the application of such studies to the practice of adult education.
While seven of the Responsible Bodies claimed to have members of staff with special responsibility for training, only a single post is known to exist which involves a primary responsibility for what might be termed the "pedagogy" of adult education. One of the gravest gaps mentioned by the heads of Responsible Bodies which are actively concerned in these matters is the critical shortage of men and women with a primary interest in adult education as such, rather than a subject interest expressed through adult education.
More training was carried out during the period of the survey than previously. It can be roughly divided into three categories: full-time training (at Manchester and in the Oxford Delegacy's "apprenticeship" scheme), substantial courses (here arbitrarily defined as those which extended over more than a week-end or a greater number of connected sessions than would make up a week-end), and short courses.
Eight substantial courses were arranged, of which two did not attract a sufficient number of enrolments from among British adult educators to materIalise as planned. One, the Association of Tutors in Adult Education's annual refresher course, was the only one to concern itself with subject matter; it attracted, among others, 25 Responsible Body tutors. The remaining five courses in this category attracted 61 part-time tutors (about one per cent of the total force, but two thirds of them from a single Responsible Body area) and nineteen full-time tutors (six per cent of the total, but ten of them from a single Responsible Body area). The number of new full-time appointments made during the year represents over twelve per cent of the total full-time strength.
The sixteen short courses attracted 260 part-time tutors (seven courses and 121 tutors from one area) representing just over 4½% of the total part-time force, and 45 full-time tutors (barely 15% of the total) of whom some participated as teachers.
According to the information received there was considerable activity in three areas, and a thin scatter of courses, some regular and most occasIonal, in the rest of the country. The high rate of turnover of tutors emphasises the comparatively restricted impact training has been able to make.
In looking at the courses it was necessary in the first instance to remember the needs of the tutors themselves. Whatever the powers of Tawney's and Temple's contemporaries may have been, a large and growing proportion of today's tutors are inexperienced as teachers. A shrinking proportion of them serve long enough to acquire experience simply by the process of annual accumulation, nor is it widely thought desirable that they should experiment if the process is liable to cause the collapse of classes and the dIsappointment of students.
The process of training does not depend entirely on formal course provision. The Adult Education movement is fortunately rich in born teachers, those whose excellence resides in the fact that, consciously or unconscIously, they are able and willing to train themselves. Contact with them assists others. Informal training
takes many forms, but it seems best to look at the training process under two main headings: training for full-time professionals, however conducted, and training for part-time tutors.
Forty full-time tutors were appointed during the year under review, of whom only two transferred from the W.E.A. to the Extra-Mural Departments. These appointments were scattered, and it is unlikely that a sufficient number of new tutors to man a course could have been found in any one small area. A very few of them attended one of the regular or occasional courses held in connection with one of the summer schools, or the course held, for the first time, at Nottingham during the Easter vacation. No regional or co-operative arrangements to deal with the situation were made by any of the Responsible Bodies concerned.
Informal training even more than formal courses took place within the confines of each Responsible Body or, at best, jointly between an Extra-Mural Department and the local W.E.A. District. Notwithstanding these difficulties the group of Responsible Bodies which attach importance to training found it possible to arrange various kinds of formal schedules as well as the informal conversations, contacts and participation in staff meetings which are bound to form the staple of training. In some responses to the survey there was mention of preparatory interviewing, but no evidence was found of this being in any sense systematic or, therefore, particularly helpful to the newly appointed adult educator.
The detailed accounts of in-service training varied widely. In five areas the Responsible Bodies made a point of introducing new staff systematically to the regIonal pattern of other organisations and institutions working in the field of adult education. All of these run occasional, and three of them regular, courses for Local Education Authority staffs concerned in thIs field.
Few Responsible Bodies claimed to be arranging visits of observation to classes for their newly appointed staff, or any regular visiting of new tutors at work by more experienced tutors. It appeared that only four or fIve were in a position to do this systematically. Some Extra-Mural Departments, of course, only appoint experienced tutors. The rest of the Responsible Bodies did not seem, either by systematic briefing or any of the other means described, to give their new staff any organised in-service training on the theory and practice of teaching or the use of aids.
Most Responsible Bodies, however, take the view that their staff meetings and conferences do assist informally in training the young tutor. This certainly happens on a fairly substantIal scale in six or seven areas. Two Responsible BodIes mentioned the real advantages of arranging for a period of overlap between departing and arriving tutors wherever this could be arranged. In three areas there appeared to be close links between Responsible Bodies and the local Association of Tutors in Adult Education organisation. In one of them, indeed, the AssocIation of Tutors in Adult Education plays an essential part, through regular meetings and study groups, in the development of the professional skill not only of its members but that of other full- and part-time tutors as well. In another area
the W.E.A. District Secretary and a member of the Extra-Mural staff were lavish in theIr pastoral care and concern for newly appointed W.E.A. full-time staff. The Wardens of some adult education centres took on similar responsibilities. A few Responsible Bodies were concerned to forge links between their tutors and the relevant internal University Departments, in order to help them maintain and develop their scholarship. Elsewhere this tended to be left to personal initiatives, or even to chance, and a feeling of isolation or even second-class status was found to be not uncommon. Finally, there were the possibilities of links with Departments and Institutes of Education, as the bodies which are particularly concerned with study and experiment in the theory and practice of education. Effective co-operation with them appeared to be confined to only two areas.
Apart from personal links and interchange between new and experienced full-time staff, informal training appeared to be strictly limited in its incidence and effect. This lent even more importance to the few substantial courses which were held. These ranged from the Manchester full-time post-graduate dIploma course and the Oxford apprenticeship scheme, both lasting one year, to summer schools (a fortnight each, at Oxford and Cambridge), a five-day full-time course and a course of two linked week-ends at Nottingham, and a terminal class at Leeds. In addition there were the Association of Tutors for Adult Education's annual refresher course and the Oxford Delegacy's practice of granting sabbatical terms. Apart from noting the excellence of the A.T.A.E. course and the importance of both of these isolated systematic attempts to help tutors in developing their academic powers, they must be discounted in this survey since they were not particularly aimed at the improvement of teaching and organising skills.
The two summer schools at which training courses were held during the year are old-established ventures of a well-known pattern. Their contribution over the years has been most valuable. Both convey to their students the practIcal experience of senior practitioners, give them opportunities of some reasonably realistic practice teaching and skilful criticism, and steep them in what has been called the "Regimental History" of Adult Education. At the same time a concentration on superficial class-room techniques, on the past, and on knowledge of only one sector of adult education, without the balancing factors of up-to-date knowledge and reading even in the Responsible Body field itself, takes much time. LIttle is left for attention to the very core of the subject: why is it that adults should wish to learn non-vocational subjects in groups; what happens to them when they do so; and what can we do to make the process effective and satisfying? New thinking about how these matters might be communicated to students on the courses is much to be welcomed, and its introduction into the seminars is lIkely to be of value.
The Oxford apprenticeship scheme, which normally involves one tutor-in-training each year, aims to offer, at much greater length and therefore more thoroughly, the same kind of programme as the summer schools, but it adds three important elements: each apprentIce is attached to one or two experienced mentors and learns from their experience as organisers as well as teachers; he or she is given regular opportunities of observing classes and discussing them with the mentor, and of conducting classes under supervision;
finally he is asked to learn something of the methods and problems of one, at any rate, of the Responsible Bodies' partners in the adult field through a study of the evening institutes in one area. Any large extension of such a scheme is unlikely to be financially practicable, though possibilities of combining a "mentorial system" with a slightly reduced teaching load during a tutor's first year may be worth investigating.
The linked week-ends at Nottingham and the terminal class at Leeds were aimed at part-time tutors (though two full-time tutors attended at Leeds) and will be discussed below. The longer Nottingham course, and the diploma course at Manchester proved to be original contributions of great importance. They gave full weight to history, general ideas, organisational specialisms and methods appropriate to different subjects. But their importance lay in the fact that they tried to elicIt answers to the basic questions about adult education which have been adumbrated above. Thus they were primarily concerned with the whole field of adult learning and motivation, with the functions of adult education vis-à-vis modern communIties and their development, with the study of the adult education movement in the context of modern knowledge of the psychology and sociology of adult learning. Their methods were equally Impressive. Both courses made use of a wide range of teaching and learning situations and, by the use of case studIes and other methods (including the use of closed circuit television), integrated theory and practice.
These courses were thus capable of providing workers in the adult field with the kind of professional training and discipline, based on up-to-date research and practice for which rule of thumb and reference to the past is no substitute. Equally important was their insistence that, beyond the specialised duties of separate bodies and organisations, there is a common core of knowledge and expertise whIch all adult educators need if they are to be effective in the modern world either on their own or in co-operation with others to provide a broadly planned service for the community.
Very few members of Responsible Body staffs have as yet been involved in either of these courses. There is clearly room for more courses in the future, both to serve as initial training and to bring up to date the theory and practice of establIshed staff at a time when the growth of knowledge in this field is as rapid as social change among the communities which are being served. A still greater need is the expansion of facilities for really substantial professional training, both for experienced staff, as in the present Manchester course, and possibly for those on the threshold of the profession. While allowing for a degree of specialisation, such facilities might be designed to prepare adult educators for service in a variety of capacities, both with the Responsible Bodies and in other kinds of institutions or organisations at home or overseas.
Evidence produced during this survey leads Her Majesty's Inspectors to suggest - they can do no more - that, if University departments were willing to undertake it, there would be value in the establishment of one or more sizeable one-year courses in places where adequate experience is being accumulated. If such provisIon could be organised on some form of regional Institution it might be an added advantage.
If residential facilities could be within reach, the main training course, and any conferences and refresher courses, would benefit. With the variety of research and teaching that could be built up, adult education would at last find the professional focus which it has lacked in the past.
A service whIch must be as sensitive to the needs and gifts of both students and tutors as adult education, should, always retain enough flexibility to use, even full-time, the services of exceptional men and women who reach it late or by unconventional routes. But this ought not to obscure its need, and claim, to be regarded as a profession based on appropriate training. Development will take time, and a variety of patterns will no doubt be evolved, but as adequate provision for training is created, it will be important to consider ways in which financial recognition can be given to it.
A few Extra-Mural Departments, notably Liverpool and Manchester, have evolved regular and systematic courses on teaching methods for members of Local Education Authority establishments, especially those concerned with non-vocational work. Other Responsible Bodies made useful if occasional contributions. Some of the work seen shared the enlightened approach described in connection with other courses; all of it performs a most useful function. The Extra-Mural Departments may not be able, or indeed, willing permanently to devote a share of their slender resources to such work. In the meantime their courses have helped to define more closely the "common core" of adult education training. If the development of a full range of professional courses could make more professional adult educators, capable of turning their skill to a variety of tasks, available for the service of Local Education Authorities and voluntary organisations, these could in their turn accumulate the resources for training their own subordinate and part-time staffs. In this range of duties there is, in the long term, as strong a case for a common (but articulated) course as at the normally graduate level which is likely to remain the province of the UniversitIes in conjunction with regional institutions.
Another link with full-time training, to be found in a few instances, were the optional Adult Education courses offered in some University Departments of Education. These are potentially valuable, and there is a case for considering whether courses in adult education generally should be made available in some Faculties of Education. Many students emerging from them are likely to serve part-time in adult education at some stage of their careers, and optional courses in preparation for such service might link up usefully with preparation for teaching older pupils and students in further education.
The serious proportions of this problem have already been indicated and rather more Responsible Bodies made formal arrangements for the training of part-time tutors than for full-time staff. Six Extra-Mural Departments and nine W.E.A. Districts strongly encouraged their staffs to make use of whatever opportunities were available on the spot or provided elsewhere; three Responsible BodIes insisted on a minimum training embodied in part-time tutors' contracts of service. The wide acceptance of this
minimum proved that tutors are, on the whole, willing to shoulder this obligation if it is frankly explained to them.
In addition to formal courses it was also possible for part-time tutors to benefit from informal training opportunities. In the Manchester area these included, among others, the study groups arranged by the Association of Tutors in Adult Education to which reference has been made. Most Responsible Bodies claimed that informal assistance and training are given to part-time staff by full-time tutors. Apart from the fact that, at any moment, a high proportion of full-time staff may themselves be inexperienced, this assistance and training might take a varIety of forms. It was found to be a frequent custom for full-time staff to read syllabuses submitted by part-time tutors in their subject and, sometimes and if necessary, to dIscuss them personally or by correspondence. No Responsible Body reported arrangements to put externally recruited part-time tutors in touch with the relevant departments within a University. If active supervisory functions regularly carried out were regarded as the basis of a full-time tutor's responsibility in training part-time colleagues, then it appeared from the information received that seven UnIversities and three W.E.A. Districts had staff with specific training responsibilities, and another four W.E.A. Districts were found to be receiving appropriate help from Extra-Mural Departments.
This means, however, that very little informal training and supervision was in fact undertaken, even by a majority of staff tutors appointed to take charge of work in their own subject. A major obstacle to the execution of these tasks by full-time tutors was the way in which their own teaching was planned. No arrangements were discovered anywhere to adjust full-time tutors' programmes, by including day-time classes and altering the dates and duration of their teaching terms. Some such arrangements will be necessary if they are to devote time regularly to visit classes held by part-time tutors in theIr geographical or subject areas, or if part-time tutors are to have opportunities of observing the classes of skilled professionals.
The nature and scope of formal training arrangements for part-time tutors varied widely. Some problems arose from the combination of training for full-time staff with that for part-time tutors. Several Responsible Bodies held courses for the first time, or resumed the practIce after an interval. The great majority of ventures ran for one day or less; there were a few week-ends, and in one instance a course was held on two week-ends near the beginning and at the end of the partIcipants' first teaching session. This last approach proved especially valuable. Another interesting new departure was a course running for five consecutive evenings, though this would have been more effective if it had been held out of term time in order to enable tutors to attend the whole course and not merely those meetings whIch dId not clash with theIr own classes.
The content of the courses differed. Several tried, with varying success, to cope with all the problems of syllabus planning, use of books, teaching methods, and students' work, in the short time available. Some were largely or entirely devoted to questions of history, ideology and administration. One Responsible
Body devoted, as it does every year, a series of half day meetings to conferences on problems and methods in different subjects. Probably the most significant change, in these courses as in those aimed at full-time staff, is the development of ways in which new tutors can be introduced to the growing body of pedagogical knowledge in their discipline, and helped to derive from this a basis of method and technIque. Where this can be done on the basis of linked courses serving both as introduction and as an opportunity to analyse, understand and use the tutors' newly acquired experience, especially valuable results were achieved. While their duration is too short to permit practice sessions and observation, much was achieved by the use of tape recordings and transcripts of classes. More could, perhaps, be done to make sure that the teaching given on such courses should itself illustrate some of the more effective and flexible teaching methods. While short courses have the advantage of concentration and, in some cases, of residence, more ground can be covered in a continuous course such as the terminal class which was held at Leeds (or other classes of this type which have been held elsewhere in the past). This, again, had the merit of seizing and concentrating upon the essentials of the subject and dealing with them on a very demanding level. It provided its members with opportunities to witness and to practise under observation and criticism a wide variety of teaching methods, and to study their impact on the student group.
The experience of the tutors themselves and of observers confIrmed the value to those who participated in them, of well planned and relevant courses. Yet the proportion of part-time tutors who were involved in them - apart from those serving the three Responsible Bodies which insist - was minute. Moreover, in so far as those who attended were often those who showed enough promise and ability to appreciate the need, the courses tended to preach to those who were at any rate anxious to be converted. It would appear that the readiness of internal University teachers to participate depends too often on the prestige of the Responsible Body within the University rather than on the need of training in order to do the job properly. Many heads of Responsible Bodies are under the impression that members of University staff would be unlikely to welcome visitation and advice in connection with theIr extra-mural teaching. At a time when a growing proportion of internal and external staff take Responsible Body classes, mainly while they are young and inexperienced, a Responsible Body might well be able to press tutors more strongly to undergo training than it might have done in the past. Moreover, many Responsible Bodies operate a higher fee scale for those who are experienced, and consideration could be given to ways in which training might be thought of as an essential contributory factor in assessing a tutor's claims to be placed on the higher scale.
Most Responsible Bodies employ numbers of part-time tutors sufficiently large to justify the holding of regular courses for both beginners and experienced members of theIr part-time staffs. Responsible Bodies will doubtless consider the organisation of such courses when financial considerations permit and when members of staff, qualified academically and through experience to profess adult education as a subject, become available.
There is no published research on the effects of pre-service or in-service training for Responsible Body tutors. But the evidence of the training courses themselves and the views of many experienced Directors of Extra-Mural Departments, District SecretarIes of the W.E.A. and tutors, as well as H.M. Inspectors' impressions of work on the ground, all point to the conclusion that anyone involved in adult education could benefit from training of adequate quality. Some form of training would, therefore, seem to be desirable for all tutors, whether full- or part-time, although its pattern will need to be flexIble if it is to allow for varieties of background and experience.
The survey showed, in general, some lack of awareness of the need for training, and a consequent dearth of responses to it, although some Responsible Bodies, despite the difficulties, have taken steps to provide it. During the year under review there was an increase of activity; new ideas on the subject were stirring in a number of Responsible Bodies, and substantial and promising action was being taken in some. These developments deserve to grow rapIdly in number, scope and intensity.
There is no dearth of able practitioners who profess theIr academic subjects in adult education; their subject research illuminates their teaching and is a source of strength to their Departments and Districts. But there is an almost complete absence of men and women who profess adult education itself, either in general or in connection with a specific subject. Such practitioners are a sine qua non for the growth of a coherent profession of adult education. It will be difficult to recruit them unless and until there are appropriate and adequate prospects to attract able scholars and teachers to such a career.
The history and traditions of the Adult Education movement must naturally play their part in the training and experience of all tutors. But the equipment of a teacher of adults should include, above all, some knowledge of the principles of adult learning relevant to different stages and purposes of adult life, of sociology and environmental studies as they affect student and group motives and responses, of the background and methods of teaching appropriate to varying needs and situations and of the organisation of adult education as it affects tutor, student, group and community. He needs some opportunities for observation and practice under supervision, closely integrated with his theoretical studies. It would be an advantage if he acquainted himself also with the whole range of non-vocational adult education, or possibly even the whole range of adult learning in general, but he also needs opportunities to specialise in a field of his own choice.
This range of knowledge and expertise will be needed, and will have to be communicated, at a variety of levels. For full-time staff preparatory courses could be envisaged which would normally precede a first appointment, and cater for a variety of functions in adult education. There will also be a need for occasional refresher or specialist courses.
Part-time tutors will need at any rate some of the same background as their full-time colleagues, though at a less demanding level. While some of this must necessarily be communicated to them before they embark on their task, it should be closely related to their practical experience, and this in turn be used to deepen their understanding of their task. Much of this could be done in courses, which should be regarded as a normal experience. For part-time tutors these might involve attendance at a terminal class, or two linked week-ends, and an annual refresher week-end. At the same time there is a need for much more regular and effective pastoral care to be given to part-time tutors by trained and experienced full-time staff. Many of them could receive valuable preparatory training if more optional courses on the teaching of adults were provided in Departments of Education.
Some of the necessary developments could be instituted at local level without much diffIculty. But major change and growth must depend on the creation of the necessary conditions. These include the provision of the necessary training institutions, of the staff required to man them, of scales of remuneration, and career prospects, which acknowledge the importance of training and research in adult education, and make it a career no less attractive than internal University teaching and research. At the same time it is important to maintain the Responsible Bodies' flexibility in making unconventional appointments.
The Responsible Bodies, and all providers of adult education, are facing a growing variety of new situations in addition to those of which they have broad and deep experience, and demands on their services are likely to grow very much more rapidly even than at present when the full effects of the 1944 Education Act are felt in the adult population. At the same time the growing turnover in the tutor force makes reliance solely upon the leisurely and sometimes problematIcal self-education of the tutor an unrealIstic expedient.
To maintain, and improve upon, the standards on which the Responsible Bodies rightly pride themselves will be no easy task under these conditions. And, in the last resort, the standard of classes in Adult Education, like any others, is determined neither by the name of the tutor's employing instItution, nor by the number of meetings for whIch his services have been retained, nor even by the wording of the dIploma by virtue of which he first engaged in his profession. It is determined by the quality of the response he draws from his students. To help him raise the qualIty of this response, and study the conditions under which he may most effectively do so, seems to be a purpose not unworthy of Adult Education in this country.