1st Edition

Adult and Lifelong Education Global, national and local perspectives

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    Adult and Lifelong Education explores why politicians, researchers, and practitioners involved in educating post-school young people and adults have quietly abandoned the term ‘education’ in favour of ‘learning’. Bringing together contributions from experienced as well as younger scholars, and from Europe, North America, and Australasia, it draws on global, national, and local perspectives to reveal key features of adult education’s policy environment.

    At the book’s heart are three main concerns. First, what is the spatial reach of these developments, and what processes of fluidity and fixity emerge? Second, does increased state and international recognition of civil society’s role in adult education and learning help to voice grass-roots learning needs for individuals and communities? Or does it create new patterns of dependency and ‘domestication’? Finally, given the growing culture of monitoring, and the investment – of money, time and attention – which international organizations, national governments, and research institutes around the world are making in gathering information on people’s skills and knowledge, and how they use them, what is happening when literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving abilities are tested? How is this knowledge used – and abused – in various policy environments, and who benefits?

    The book is an outcome of the work of the European Society for the Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) Research Network on Policy Studies in Adult Education’s inaugural conference, held at the University of Nottingham in 2012. This book was originally published as a special issue of Globalisation, Societies and Education.

    Introduction – Adult and lifelong education: global, national and local perspectives Marcella Milana, John Holford and Vida A. Mohorčič Špolar

    1. Making educational spaces through boundary work: territorialisation and ‘boundarying’ Terri Seddon

    2. ‘Ducking and diving’ adult educator agency in testing times: insights from England and New Zealand Marion Bowl

    3. Immigrants as active citizens: exploring the volunteering experience of Chinese immigrants in Vancouver Shibao Guo

    4. Lifelong education and learning, societal project and competitive advantage: tensions and ambivalences in policy and planning of educational change in Portugal Fátima Antunes and Paula Guimarães

    5. Filling the gaps: the role and impact of international non-governmental organisations in ‘Education for All’ Pasqua Marina Tota

    6. Global, regional and local influences on adult literacy policy in England Mary Hamilton

    7. Comparative performance measures, globalising strategies and literacy policy in Scotland Lyn Tett

    8. The media construction of an adult literacy agenda in Canada Judith Walker and Kjell Rubenson


    Marcella Milana is Associate Professor at the University of Verona, Italy. She is a board member of the European Society for the Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA), joint convenor of its Research Network on Policy Studies in Adult Education, and co-Editor of the International Journal of Lifelong Education. Her research interests include comparative and adult education, lifelong learning policy, European governance, education for democratic citizenship, participation in adult education, and the professionalization of adult educators. Her latest book is Global Perspectives on Adult Education and Learning Policy (with Tom Nesbit, 2015).

    John Holford is Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education at the University of Nottingham, UK, and an Editor of the International Journal of Lifelong Education. His current research interests lie in European lifelong learning policy and the impact of neoliberalism on adult and higher education. His recent books include Adult Education Policy and the European Union: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives (with Marcella Milana, 2014), and Lifelong Learning in Europe: National Patterns and Challenges (with Ellu Saar & Odd-Bjorn Ure, 2013).

    Vida A. Mohorčič Špolar is an independent researcher. She also teaches at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. A joint convenor of the ESREA Research Network on Policy Studies in Adult Education, she has been researching and writing about adult policy, adult literacy, participation in adult education, and democratic citizenship. She has been active in European and UNESCO projects and is currently involved in PIAAC (Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competences).