Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Pedagogical Legacy of Watson Thomson

Adult Education and the Social Economy: Re-thinking the Communitarian Pedagogy of Watson Thomson

By Michael Chartier
A Thesis

Paulo Freire, Popular Educator
The life and work of Watson Thomson have become trapped in an academic/historiographical netherworld. His historical legacy has, over the last three decades, rarely transcended the role of research fodder for a few community-minded graduate students. Were it not for the comprehensive biographical dissertation and subsequent articles written by Michael Welton (1983 & 1987), Thomson’s profound transformative-communitarian vision and fascinating life story may have remained in complete obscurity.

The failure of Thomson’s narrative to gain widespread prominence amongst Western Canadian historians and academics is not due to a lack of significant contributions to Canadian adult and labour education or to co-operative development. Nor was it due to a lack of vision or the pedagogical means to achieve this vision on the part of Thomson himself. He envisioned nothing less than the cultural, social, economic, and political transformation of the Canadian Prairies — certainly no small task. Owing to extensive experience working in adult education as well as to the profound personal insights gained while studying and living with a group of close companions and fellow intellectuals, Thomson was able to develop a unique and effective educational framework for mobilizing and politicizing Canadian citizenry.

Read this thesis HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment