The Learning Adult
Building and Reflecting on the Work of Peter Jarvis
Peter Jarvis is a towering figure in adult and lifelong education and a leading and original theorist of learning. This book explores the breadth and significance of his work. Sixteen chapters by leading international scholars explain and engage critically with his theorisation of learning, and with his extensive writings on the sociology, politics, ethics and history of adult education, and on professional education, lifelong learning and the learning society. The authors discuss his ideas, their influence and origins. They cover his contribution to learning theory, the recurring ethical themes in his writing, and the implications of his work for areas such as the education of migrants. They explore his global engagement as a scholar not only in different areas of lifelong education, but across the world: much-travelled, Peter Jarvis has supported the growth of adult education as a humane profession – as well as a field of study – in Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Australasia, as well as Europe. They also address the intense humanism of his work, which has been continually informed by theological and ethical concerns: though he taught for three decades at the University of Surrey, where he was Head of the Department of Educational Studies and is now Emeritus Professor, he has been a Minister of the Methodist Church for over half a century.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of Lifelong Education.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Local and global in the formation of a learning theorist: Peter Jarvis and adult education Part I: UNDERSTANDING LEARNING 1. Paradoxes of a Long Life Learning: an Exploration of Peter Jarvis’s Contribution to Experiential Learning Theory 2.Peter Jarvis and the understanding of adult learning 3.The promise of lifelong learning 4. A critique of Peter Jarvis’s conceptualisation of the lifelong learner in the contemporary cultural context Part II: LEARNING & THE MEANING OF LIFE 5. (Critical) learning in/through everyday life in a global consumer culture 6. Learning is an ontological process: Jarvis and theories of Christian Religious Education in dialogue 7. Opening spaces of conversation: citizen education for newcomers as a democratic practice Part III: ADULT EDUCATION, CITIZENSHIP & DEMOCRACY 8. Resisting the enormous condescension of posterity: Richard Henry Tawney, Raymond Williams and the long struggle for a democratic education 9. Decoding the neoliberal subjectivity in self-helping adult learners 10. International organisations and the construction of the learning active citizen: Ananalysis of adult learning policy documents from a Durkheimian perspective Part IV: GLOBAL & LOCAL 11. Wide horizons and blurred boundaries: comparative perspectives on adult and lifelong learning 12. Globalisation in Africa: reflecting on Peter Jarvis’s superstructure and substructure model 13. Chinese students speak about their favourite teachers and university reform 14. The rise and fall of life-wide learning for adults in England
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. He was previously a Professor, Head of Educational Studies, and founding Head of Politics at the University of Surrey, UK. He is Co-ordinator of the EU Horizon 2020 international research project, "Encouraging Lifelong Learning for a Vibrant and Inclusive Europe" (ENLIVEN), an Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and President of the International Society for Comparative Adult Education.
Marcella Milana is Associate Professor at the University of Verona, Italy, and an Editor of the International Journal of Lifelong Education. She was previously Associate Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her research deals with the politics, policy and governance of adult education and learning, from comparative and global perspectives. Her recent publications include Global Networks, Local Actions: Rethinking Adult Education Policy in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2017).
Richard Waller is Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK, and an Editor of the International Journal of Lifelong Education. He has published widely on adult and particularly higher education, and on social class. He was a co-investigator on the Paired Peers research project (2010-2017) which examined the impact of social class background on a cohort of students’ journeys into, through, and out of university and into the graduate employment market.
Sue Webb is Professor of Education at Monash University, Australia, and an Editor of the International Journal of Lifelong Education. She has researched the policy effects and practices related to access and participation of students from under-represented groups in the field of further and higher education, including the experiences of migrants and refugees. Currently she leads an Australian Research Council Discovery Project, "Vocational Institutions, undergraduate degrees: distinction or inequality?"