History Workshop 10 (Workers’ Education and Class Consciousness) was held at Ruskin College on 29 and 30 May 1976. The choice of subject, that of workers’ education, was probably influenced by the Workshop’s association with Ruskin College, which was founded in 1899 to provide educational opportunities for the Working Classes. The study of workers’ education and its relationship to class consciousness also fitted well with the socialism of the History Workshop movement.
For this Workshop, a new structure was devised in order to accommodate the large numbers of people the Workshops now attracted. Each day started and finished with a plenary session, with the Workshop then dividing for four sessions running in parallel all day, with multiple papers delivered in each one. Sessions included ‘Literacy’, ‘Religious Belief and Utopianism’, ‘Working Class Writers’, ‘Education and Class Consciousness in Britain’, ‘Education and Class Consciousness in Europe’, and ‘Adult Education Today’. Papers included Owenism and Feminism in the 1830s, Literacy and Revolution in Cuba 1860-1960, Chartist Culture, and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.
As had been the case with previous Workshops, papers were given by a mixture of students, academics, and campaigners. Institutions represented included universities, adult education colleges, polytechnics, and labour history groups. A striking feature of the programme for this Workshop was the diminution in the number of Ruskin students featured in the programme and the greatly increased scope of the programme in other areas. These changes led to the development of tensions within the movement over the next few years and ultimately to the Workshop’s departure from Ruskin.