The Canterbury Workers' Educational Association : the origins and development, 1915 to 1947.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis covers the origins and development of the Canterbury Workers I Educational Association between the years 1915 and 1947. Its particular concern is to determine the comparative influences of working class and middle class groups upon the development of the WEA and the extent, to which the organisation might be regarded as a working class movement. The work is divided into three sections. section One covers the period 1915-1920 and deals with the origins and the formative years of the Canterbury WEA. section Two focuses upon the years 1920-1938 and examines the relationship between the WEA and the trade unions, the role of the WEA in the provision of adult education to rural areas, the Summer Schools and the position of the WEA in the community. The final section covers the years 19381947. During this period changes in legislation relating to the provision of adult education were introduced through the Education Amendment Act (1938) and the Adult Education Act (1947). For the greater part of this period, social life in New Zealand was disrupted by the Second World War. The legislation together with circumstances of wartime were to have an important affect the activities of the WEA. Research was primarily based on the extensive WEA Archives held by the University of Canterbury Library. The minute books of the WEA are complete from 1915 and provide an excellent source of material. In order to try and reach through the official material to the ordinary people involved in the movement extensive use was made of the very complete archival holding of correspondence covering the period together with the techniques of oral history.