British Adult Educator Remembered


Roger Fieldhouse, who has died aged 79 after short illness, was a prominent adult educator in the university sector from 1970 until his retirement in the early 2000s.

He began his career as Tutor-Organiser for the WEA in North Yorkshire in the mid-1960s and rapidly became a successful local history tutor and researcher. (His book on ‘The History of Swaledale’ was the most substantial publication of many in this field.)

In 1970, he joined the then Department of Adult Education and Extramural Studies at the University of Leeds where he became a Senior Lecturer and responsible for the University’s extensive joint work with the WEA.

In the late 1980s he was appointed as Professor of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Exeter, where he remained until his retirement. He published widely in the field of the history of adult education-his ‘History of Modern British Adult Education’ (1996) remains the standard work.

He was a staunch advocate, and practitioner, of liberal adult education. In retirement, he published a lengthy and rigorous study of the British Anti-Apartheid movement; and co-edited ‘EP Thompson and English radicalism’ (2013).

He was an active member of UALL’s predecessor body, UACE.


Richard Taylor
February 2020