This authoritative volume is a truly international contribution to the worldwide debate on how best to widen access to lifelong learning.
The first section of the book comprises research studies from around the world, reflecting the diversity of contexts in which widening access is researched and considers issues central to the access debate, including different understandings of the concept of access, organisational and structural change, curriculum development, entry policies, performance and retention and labour market outcomes.
The second section illustrates diverse and innovative methodological approaches that have been employed by researchers in the field, and considers the range of approaches available.
Given the growing concern around the world on the need to combat social exclusion and to improve economic circumstances through access to lifelong learning, this book acts as a unique reference point informing the ongoing debate, exploring the relationships between research, policy and practice.
Part 1: Key Issues 1. An International Perspective on Researching Widening Access 2. Researching Widening Access: An Overview 3. Researching Access in a Rapidly Changing Context: Experiences from Higher Education in South Africa 4. Looking through the Kaleidoscope: Diversification, Accessibility and Inequality in Scottish Higher Education 5. Discourses of Access: Changing Views in a Changing World 6. Widening Access to Literacy 7. Widening Access for the Education of Adults in the United States 8. E-Learning and Access: Getting behind the Hype 9. Access as More: Issues of Student Performance, Retention, and Institutional Change 10. After Access: Researching Labour Market Issues Part 2: Methodological Issues 11. Participatory Paradigms: Researching ‘With’ rather than ‘On’ 12. Questions of Access and Participation: Some Contributions from Qualitative Research 13. Biography and Narratives: Adult Returnees to learning 14. Counting Access: Problems and Puzzles 15. E-Learning, Marginalised Communities and Social Capital: A Mixed Method Approach 16. Organisation Behaviour, Research and Access 17. The Case Study Approach to Research in Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL 18. Researching Widening Access: The Future Agenda. Index