Liberal And General Studies In Further Education: Voices From The ‘Chalk Face’

Robin Simmons, Colin Waugh, Mike Hopkins, Liz Perry, Roy Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper presents initial findings from research investigating an important but largely neglected facet of the history of Further Education (FE) – the Liberal Studies and General Studies (LS/GS) movement. Drawing on historical documents and interview data from a group of former LS/GS lecturers, the paper provides important insights into some of the key events and initiatives between the 1950s-1980s, which led to the rise and eventual fall of the LS/GS movement, and seeks to capture the voices of those who were involved at the ‘chalk face’. Whilst it is acknowledged that the quality and nature of LS/GS was often variable and that the experiences of both teachers and learners were often uneven, the central argument of the paper is that many of the principles of the LS/GS movement were not only ahead of their time, but are perhaps more relevant to FE today than ever before.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalTeaching in Lifelong Learning: a journal to inform and improve practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2014


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