Village Colleges

The design, decoration and equipment of our places of education cannot be regarded as anything less than of first-rate importance – as equally important, indeed, as the teacher. … We shall not bring about any improvement in standards of taste by lectures and preachings; habitation is the golden method. … The school, the technical college, the community centre, which is not a work of architectural art is to that extent an educational failure.

viewing Impington – Henry Morris and the idea of the village college is an extended essay in an encyclopedic site on informal education: The essay on Morris and village colleges talks about the attention to balanced space for these community education centres. The Village College combined children’s education with lifelong learning and community spaces.

It would take all the various vital but isolated activities in village life – the School, the Village Hall and Reading Room, the Evening Classes, the Agricultural Education Courses, the Women’s Institute, the British Legion, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, the recreation ground, the branch of the County Rural Library, the Athletic and Recreation Clubs – and, bringing them together into relation, create a new institution for the English countryside.

I came across the Village College article in one on the theory and practice of extended schooling – developments in England. Extended schooling refers primarily to extending primary school with social services and activities, but the idea could be applied to extending the college to a lifelong engagnment around learning.

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