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Date and time
Sunday, March 8, 2020 - 15:30
Address
Guildhall
Frankwell Quay
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY3 8HQ
United Kingdom

About the Event

We are honoured to welcome Professor Emeritus Lalage Bown, a pioneer in education, to discuss her distinguished and inspirational life and work on International Women’s Day. Professor Bown spent more than 30 years in Africa, providing university-based adult education programmes and undertaking training in adult education. She has written widely on comparative adult education, community education, higher education and lifelong learning, as well as development studies. Much of her research has been infused by her lifelong concern for gender issues.

Throughout her life, Professor Bown has risen above societal expectations for women, while maintaining her passion, optimism and warm-heart. With parents abroad in their early lives, she and her three siblings moved about until settling in Shropshire, on the family farm on the Long Mynd. Professor Bown attended the University of Oxford, one of only 600 women among 6000 undergraduates, gaining an Honours MA in Modern History, followed by postgraduate training in Adult Education. At the age of 22, she moved to Ghana to join the University College of the Gold Coast to teach economics and politics. She dedicated much of her subsequent career to establishing and expanding university adult education programmes in four African countries, always with a focus on adult women.

After witnessing the effects of illiteracy, in 1990 Professor Bown undertook the first-known major research project on how literacy acquisition by adult women changed their lives.

“I was left with the huge conviction that even the simplest acquisition of literacy can have a profoundly empowering effect personally, socially and politically,” Professor Bown said. “There is a huge change in women’s self-worth and confidence.”

Troubled by the use of standard English texts in African classrooms, Prof Bown sought more relevant material by African authors to use in African classrooms. This work led to the publishing of her book, Two Centuries of African English, in 1973, which became a reliable resource widely consulted by African universities at the time. 

In 1981, Professor Bown returned to the UK to join the University of Glasgow as Head of the Department of Adult and Continuing Education. She has six Honorary Doctorates, including one from the University Centre Shrewsbury, and was a founding trustee of Womankind Worldwide.  

Professor Bown lives in Shrewsbury where she continues to research and write.   

 

Directions

Address

Guildhall
Frankwell Quay
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY3 8HQ
United Kingdom