Plumbing the University of Toronto: William James Dunlop and the History of Adult Education in Canada
- adult education,
- university extension,
- University of Toronto
Working as the director of University Extension and Publicity for the University of Toronto from 1920 to 1951, William Dunlop built a large and diverse set of adult education programs, developed an influential discourse of extension, and sustained support for the adult education movement from three university presidents. This article explains the rise of institutional commitment to extension work due to political, financial, and competitive factors and demonstrates that the enduring outcomes of Dunlop’s work included programmatic forms through which university extension was delivered and discourses through which extension work was positioned at Canadian universities. Rather than accept the rhetoric of university leaders—that the extension movement was about the democratization of higher education—scholars should recognize that the engagement of universities in extension work was rooted in those institutions’ struggles for resources and was implicated in the role of universities as agents in developing new forms of social class relations.