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The results and consequences of technical education: an historical case study of metalliferous mining education prior to 1939 with special reference to The Camborne School of Mines and the Royal School of Mines

The results and consequences of technical education: an historical case study of metalliferous mining education prior to 1939 with special reference to The Camborne School of Mines and the Royal School of Mines
The results and consequences of technical education: an historical case study of metalliferous mining education prior to 1939 with special reference to The Camborne School of Mines and the Royal School of Mines
This is a study of the effectiveness of the technical education of metalliferous mining engineers at the Royal School of Mines, the Camborne School of Mines and the other Cornish Schools from the later nineteenth century until the late nineteen thirties. The educational background and basic career details of 1624 former members of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy were examined. From these the education and careers of 672 former students at the mining schools who were also I.M.M. members were examined in greater detail. An additional study based on the Camborne School of Mines suggested that although I.M.M. membership did not encompass all former Camborne students it did involve a significant proportion. More detailed studies were made of the mining careers of the Richards family of Tavistock who saw their main service in Devon, South America and India; Henry Laws who made his name in Nigeria; the Collins family who worked in the U.K. and the U.S.A.; and Bedford McNeil who represented the rise of the professional mining engineer. The development of metalliferous mining education and of the colleges was outlined. The metalliferous mining background and the life of the mining engineer were outlined in the Appendices.

The method employed was a biographical approach based upon the prosopographical approaches of Lawrence Stone. This involved a "mass" study based upon three sources: the Royal School of Mines registers of former students - 1896, 1920, 1947, 1961; the Camborne School of Mines Magazines from 1898 until the Second World War; the obituary material in the proceedings of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, volumes 19 to 76. Stone's "elite" method was adapted and detailed studies were made of presentative figures and families.

From this process a variety of factors emerged. In terms of the subsequent careers of the majority of the students their background education appears to have served them well. Significantly however, despite the inclusive ideals of the original promoters, the intake of both colleges became increasingly more socially exclusive. This was for a variety of reasons and the development of professionalization.

Although the context of educational initiatives is constantly changing they are often driven by a desire to expand its scope socially. This was true of the mining colleges and the experience of the students and these institutions studies shows that a variety of factors conspire to undermine these ideals. They remain potent factors to be taken into account in present and future initiatives - especially those intent on broadening educational opportunities.
University of Southampton
Dixon, David Gunthorpe
9b46ecbb-2713-4cb9-a663-600430366f97
Dixon, David Gunthorpe
9b46ecbb-2713-4cb9-a663-600430366f97

Dixon, David Gunthorpe (1998) The results and consequences of technical education: an historical case study of metalliferous mining education prior to 1939 with special reference to The Camborne School of Mines and the Royal School of Mines. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 470pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This is a study of the effectiveness of the technical education of metalliferous mining engineers at the Royal School of Mines, the Camborne School of Mines and the other Cornish Schools from the later nineteenth century until the late nineteen thirties. The educational background and basic career details of 1624 former members of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy were examined. From these the education and careers of 672 former students at the mining schools who were also I.M.M. members were examined in greater detail. An additional study based on the Camborne School of Mines suggested that although I.M.M. membership did not encompass all former Camborne students it did involve a significant proportion. More detailed studies were made of the mining careers of the Richards family of Tavistock who saw their main service in Devon, South America and India; Henry Laws who made his name in Nigeria; the Collins family who worked in the U.K. and the U.S.A.; and Bedford McNeil who represented the rise of the professional mining engineer. The development of metalliferous mining education and of the colleges was outlined. The metalliferous mining background and the life of the mining engineer were outlined in the Appendices.

The method employed was a biographical approach based upon the prosopographical approaches of Lawrence Stone. This involved a "mass" study based upon three sources: the Royal School of Mines registers of former students - 1896, 1920, 1947, 1961; the Camborne School of Mines Magazines from 1898 until the Second World War; the obituary material in the proceedings of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, volumes 19 to 76. Stone's "elite" method was adapted and detailed studies were made of presentative figures and families.

From this process a variety of factors emerged. In terms of the subsequent careers of the majority of the students their background education appears to have served them well. Significantly however, despite the inclusive ideals of the original promoters, the intake of both colleges became increasingly more socially exclusive. This was for a variety of reasons and the development of professionalization.

Although the context of educational initiatives is constantly changing they are often driven by a desire to expand its scope socially. This was true of the mining colleges and the experience of the students and these institutions studies shows that a variety of factors conspire to undermine these ideals. They remain potent factors to be taken into account in present and future initiatives - especially those intent on broadening educational opportunities.

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Published date: September 1998

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Local EPrints ID: 437218
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437218
PURE UUID: 122cd7f4-c7aa-4fce-9651-d1978fc74bc0

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Date deposited: 22 Jan 2020 17:31
Last modified: 23 Jan 2020 17:34

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Author: David Gunthorpe Dixon

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