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The Fight for Social Justice – Lalage Bown: A Lifetime’s Mission

  • Robert Hamilton

This chapter examines the life and legacy of the remarkable and inspiring Emeritus Professor Lalage Bown, OBE, who died in 2021, aged 94. The author locates Lalage’s commitment to adult education to a post-war Second World War period, when many believed that the kind of injustices suffered under colonial rule had to end. It is demonstrated that she was a globalist who believed that all humanity was interconnected, and that education could promote transformative change across and within national boundaries. An eminent women’s literacy advocate, who devoted her life’s work to improving education for the disadvantaged, especially women, Lalage sought to bring university opportunities to the widest possible sections of society. She was immersed in a tradition which regarded adult education as a catalyst for significant social change, and this chapter highlights how she developed new inclusive, post-colonial approaches to education, including the reform of university curricula across many countries in Africa and Europe.

  • Keywords:
  • Access,
  • Adult Education,
  • Decolonisation,
  • Universities,
  • Women’s Literacy,
+ Show More

Robert Hamilton

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom - ORCID: 0009-0000-8771-2331

  1. Bown, Lalage, edited by. 1973. Two Centuries of African English. A Survey and Anthology of Non-fictional English Prose by African Writers since 1769. London: Heinemann Educational.
  2. Bown, Lalage. 1990. Preparing for the Future: Women, Literacy and Development. The Impact of Female Literacy on Human Development and the Participation of Literate Women in Change. ActionAid Development Report No. 4. Chard: ActionAid.
  3. Bown, Lalage. 2015. “Adult Literacy: Policies and Structures.” BALID Informal Literacy Discussion, No. 20, Tuesday, 12 May, at Redcliffe College, Gloucester. <http://balid.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Lalage-Bown-ILD-20-May-2015.pdf> (2023-07-01).
  4. Bown, Lalage. 2020a. “Wars then and now.” Interview with Prof L. Bown, OBE, FRSE, FACSS. University Centre Shrewsbury, 1 October, 2020.
  5. Bown, Lalage. 2020b. “The Upside: On-Line Presentation by Professor Lalage Bown.” Somerville College, University of Oxford, 24 November, 2020. <https://www.facebook.com/SomervilleOxford/videos/the-upside-lalage-brown/365605291393080/> (2023-07-01).
  6. Department of Adult Education, University of Lagos. 1979. A Handbook of Adult Education for West Africa. London: Hutchinson & Co Ltd.
  7. Hamilton, Robert., 2021a. “Lalage Bown (1927-2021). Adult Educator for the Right to Education, Women’s Literacy and Decolonisation.” Convergence 43 (1): 75-82.
  8. Hamilton, Robert. 2021b. “Obituary: Lalage Bown.” The Centre for Research and Development in Adult and Lifelong Learning (CR&DALL), University of Glasgow, 23 December, 2021. <https://cradall.org/content/adult-educator-advocate-right-access-education-women’s-literacy-and-decolonisation> (2023-07-01).
  9. Hamilton, Robert, and Maria Slowey. 2005. The Story of DACE: Jubilee of the Department of Adult and Continuing Education. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.
  10. Innes, Lyn. 2022. “Obituary: Lalage Bown.” The Guardian. 10 January, 2022. <https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/jan/10/lalage-bown-obituary> (2023-07-01).
  11. International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. 2018. “Lalage Bown: Hall of Fame Class of 2009.” <https://halloffame.outreach.ou.edu/Inductions/Inductee-Details/lalage-bown> (2023-07-01).
  12. Little, Angela. 2022. “Remembering Lalage Bown and Her Contribution to International Education.” The United Kingdom Forum for International Education and Training (UKFIET). 12 January, 2022. <https://www.ukfiet.org/2022/remembering-lalage-bown-and-her-contribution-to-international-education/> (2023-07-01).
  13. Millora, Chris. 2022. “Remembering Lalage.” The British Association for Literacy in Development (BALID).  18 January, 2022. <https://balid.org.uk/blog/2022/01/18/remembering-lalage-bown/> (2023-07-01).
  14. Somerville College. 2022. “Lalage Bown: Adult Education Specialist and Women’s Literacy Advocate.” University of Oxford. <https://www.some.ox.ac.uk/eminent/lalage-bown-obe/> (2023-07-01).
  15. The Times. 2021. “Obituary: Lalage Bown.” 23 December, 2021.
  16. United Nations. 2014. “United Nations News: Global Perspective Human Stories.” 8 September, 2014. <https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000229343_eng> (2023-07-01).
  17. University of Glasgow. 2022. “The University of Glasgow Story: Biography of Lalage Bown.” University of Glasgow. <https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/news/newsarchive/2022/19january2022/headline_829869_en.html> (2023-07-01).
  18. Victoria and Albert Museum. 2023. “A Life Through Clothes: Professor Lalage Bown, OBE.” Produced as part of the Africa Fashion [Exhibition]. South Kensington, 2 July 2022-16 April 2023. <https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/a-life-through-clothes-professor-lalage-bown-obe> (2023-07-01).
  19. Williams, Peter. 2022. “Celebrating Professor Lalage Jean Bown’s Lifetime of Service.” Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC). 2 January, 2022. <https://www.cecomm.org.uk/celebrating_lal> (2023-07-01).
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  • Publication Year: 2023
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  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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  • Publication Year: 2023
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

The Fight for Social Justice – Lalage Bown: A Lifetime’s Mission

Authors

Robert Hamilton

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0253-4.07

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2023

Copyright Information

© 2023 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Adult Education and Social Justice: International Perspectives

Editors

Maria Slowey, Heribert Hinzen, Michael Omolewa, Michael Osborne

Peer Reviewed

Number of Pages

324

Publication Year

2023

Copyright Information

© 2023 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0253-4

ISBN Print

979-12-215-0252-7

eISBN (pdf)

979-12-215-0253-4

eISBN (xml)

979-12-215-0254-1

Series Title

Studies on Adult Learning and Education

Series ISSN

2704-596X

Series E-ISSN

2704-5781

38

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