The Historical Experience of Liberal Studies for Vocational Learners in Further Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper revisits the liberal studies movement – an important if under-researched episode in the history of education. It examines the lived experience of a set of former vocational students, the great majority of whom eventually went on to teach in further and higher vocational education. All participants had undertaken a course of liberal studies alongside a programme of work-related learning at an English college of further education at some point between the mid-1960s and the late-1980s. The paper presents two key findings: first, whilst participants’ experiences were varied and uneven, most seemed quite agnostic about liberal studies in their youth; second, the great majority of those who took part in the research were substantially more positive about their learning in retrospect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-76
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number1
Early online date25 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


Cite this