Global Networks, Local Actions: Rethinking adult education policy in the 21st century examines public policy developments in adult education, exploring the policy framing of adult education practice in a range of socio-cultural contexts, and contributing to the development of policy research from global and comparative perspectives.
Drawing from multidisciplinary fields such as adult education, comparative and international education, and sociology, chapters analyse empirically grounded studies from the US, Italy, Argentina and Brazil. Each study helps to identify how political agents interact at international, regional, national and local scales, and what the implications are for publically-funded interventions in adult education. While this book recognises the complexity of adult education policy, it argues for the need to deconstruct the false belief that what is global in adult education may be intrinsically distinct from the characteristics of geographical or social territories in which adult education occurs. Instead, it points to localised norms and ideas on Adult Basic and Secondary Education as ultimately contained in, and constituting, what is at times perceived as global, or abstracted from definite geographical or social territories.
This book calls for a global sociology of adult education in response to global challenges, and makes an important contribution to our understanding of developments in public adult education policy. As such, it will be of key interest to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of adult education, comparative and international education, education policy and politics, sociology of education, and global studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I. Theory, heuristic and method 1. A global sociology perspective on adult education 2. On-site research architecture Part II. Global networks 3. International policy developments in adult education 4. Region-wide policy agendas for adult education Part III. Local actions 5. Brazil and basic literacy training 6. Argentina and the completion of secondary school education 7. The United States of America and evidence-based instruction 8. Italy and the schooling of immigrants Part IV. Cutting through networks and actions 9. The global-local nexus in adult education policy Conclusion
Marcella Milana is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Sciences, University of Verona, Italy.
‘Marcella Milana has written a fascinating and accessible book that opens up the world of adult education policy. Working between Global South and Global North from a sociological realist perspective, Milana’s case studies of Brazil, Argentina, Italy and the US trace the re-making of adult education and its effects that enable and steer adult learning. If we are to understand these policy processes and steering effects, she argues, it is necessary to recognize how they are no longer contained by nation-states but tensioned between global and local imperatives.’
Terri Seddon, Professor, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University, Australia
‘This is a remarkable contribution. Based on rich empirical case studies in Brazil, Argentina, the USA and Italy, Marcella Milana develops a powerful and insightful new theorisation of global adult education. She shows how, where – and why – the interests and agendas of global and local actors combine and conflict. Her book is both innovative and true to the best traditions of committed adult education scholarship.’
John Holford, Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK
‘This engaging text makes clear that education policy in any particular context cannot be thought of separately from the agendas of international agencies and their policy elites. Nevertheless, Marcella Milana is also clear that adult education is a site of contest in which actors of all types create ‘the global’ as everyday practice. A well-written and exhaustively complied comparative investigation, this important text deserves to be widely read’.
Stephen Carney, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark
‘The empirical basis for the study is impressive in its depth and breadth. Based on fieldwork research in the four countries – Argentina, Brazil, Italy and USA – it is complemented with secondary data from a large volume of official documents and studies. The data is then subject to an analysis, which combines sociological approaches with political science, comparative education and educational anthropology. The result is an important contribution to the study of adult education in the three regions, which the research covers – North America, South America and Europe – but extrapolates those three regions to present conclusions, which are pertinent for adult learning and education globally.’
Timothy D. Ireland, Professor, Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil
‘This is an excellent book. It provides a clear and systematic conceptual framework for comprehending the public domain of adult education policy in an era of global governance. By doing so, it highlights the relative role of, and links between, major intergovernmental organisations and international nongovernmental organisations. Marcella Milana’s book deserves to be read widely by both adult educators and sociologists.’
Kjell Rubenson, Professor, Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada