Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Employment Discrimination; Mental Disorders; Disability Discrimination; Disabilities; Volunteer Work.

Tastsoglou, E., & Miedema, B. (2003). Immigrant women and community development in the Canadian Maritimes: Outsiders within? Canadian Journal of Sociology/Cahiers Canadiens de Sociologie, 28(2), 203-234.


This paper argues that immigrant women make important contributions to community development, thereby improving their own individual lives and those of others in Canadian society. Forty semistructured interviews were conducted in two major Maritime cities. Drawing from these interviews, the authors define what community means for immigrant women from the organizations in which they participate and the issues that they embrace. Using a broad definition of community development to encompass not only community-development-motivated actions but also other-motivated, nonpaid organizational participation, our findings reveal that even if the immigrant women's motives for organizing are individualistic, driven by narrow, practical needs, their involvement with others in groups and organizations has broader social consequences. Further, some Maritime immigrant women's stories demonstrate that individualistic motives may, over time, evolve into addressing gender, ethnic/race, class, and immigrant status inequalities and collective organizing for social change.
KEY WORDS: Immigrants; Females; Community Development; Mobilization; Political Participation; Canada; Community Work.

Taylor, R. F. (2003). Rethinking voluntary work: Configurations of class, gender and career. The Sociological Review, 53(s2), 219.


Sociological interpretations of voluntary work are based on definitions of work that emphasizes a dichotomy between public employment and private domestic labour. As a result, unpaid labour in the public sphere is seldom examined within the sociology of work, and little research has analyzed social class and gender differences in volunteering. This thesis challenges these prevailing attitudes, and argues that voluntary work is socially and historically constructed. Voluntary work by individuals must be understood in the context of class and gender identities on the one hand; and structures of the marketplace, families and welfare systems on the other. Twelve case studies selected from qualitative interviews (n = 29) with paid workers and volunteers in two voluntary organisations are explored. Findings indicate that individual's work practices are circumscribed by the institutional hierarchies of power and authority which structure the organisation of labour in the fields of healthcare and community work. Through exploring both the individual's understanding of their labour and the structural boundaries that define it, the research develops a broader perspective on participation in voluntary work. Lastly, attention is drawn to the different meanings voluntary work holds for diverse social groups revealing its role both in reproducing social inequalities, and effecting social change.
KEY WORDS: Volunteers; Public Sector Private Sector Relations; Work Orientations; Nonprofit Organizations; Class Differences; Sex Differences; Community Organizations; London, England; Volunteer Work.

Theolis, M., & Thomas, D. (2002). On the true worth of voluntary work. Nouvelles Pratiques Sociales, 15(2), 17-24.


This article summarizes the contributions to this journal issue that together constitute a report of voluntary work in the world today. Interviews with volunteers who support the necessity of volunteer work consistently express the need to maintain quality connections between themselves and those whom they help. Research demonstrates that volunteers do not engage in their charitable efforts for profit or glory. The volunteer gives without guarantee of results in order to maintain and, sometimes, renew the social connection. The voluntary sector has existed in a fairly autonomous arena with its own set of characteristics. Assessing the worth of volunteering is not reduced to a single element; rather, volunteer work shares common characteristics with the business, state, and domestic sectors of society.
KEY WORDS: Volunteers; Charities; Volunteer Work.

Thoits, P. A., & Hewitt, L. N. (2001). Volunteer work and well-being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 42(2), 115-131.


Using two waves of panel data (N = 2,681) from Americans' Changing Lives (House 1995), this article examines the relationships between volunteer work in the community and six aspects of personal well-being: happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health, and depression. Prior research has predominantly explored the effects of voluntary memberships rather than volunteer work, has used cross-sectional rather than longitudinal data, and, when longitudinal, has emphasized social causation over selection effects. The antecedents of human agency are overlooked when the focus is only on the consequences of volunteer work. People with more personality resources and better physical and mental health should be more likely to seek (or to be sought for) community service. The authors examined both selection and social causation effects. Results indicated that volunteer work indeed enhances all six aspects of well-being and, conversely, people who have greater well-being invest more hours in volunteer service. Explaining how positive consequences flow from volunteering may offer a useful counterpoint to stress theory, which has focused mainly on negative life experiences.
KEY WORDS: Volunteers; Well Being; Happiness; Life Satisfaction; Self Esteem; Locus of Control; Health; Depression (Psychology); United States of America; Volunteer Work.

Uslaner, E. M. (2002). Religion and civic engagement in Canada and the United States. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41(2), 239-254.


This study examines the influence of different religious traditions on volunteering - is examined. It draws on comparative 1996 survey data from the US, Francophone Canada (Quebec), & Anglophone Canada (N = 3,023, 700, & 2,700 respondents, respectively). Results indicate that fundamentalists in both countries are most likely to volunteer for both religious & secular causes. Catholics volunteer at the same rates as other denominations, except in Anglophone Canada. Although church structures differ in the two countries, conservative religious values have similar effects on volunteering. Also assessed is the impact of generalized vs particularized trust on voluntarism. Results indicate only moderate effects, which are compounded by religious conservatism. Generally, there are more similarities than differences between Anglophone Canada & the US. Even though Quebec appears to have a unique culture of voluntarism, this cannot be definitely linked to the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church there.
KEY WORDS: Volunteers; Citizen Participation; Religious Beliefs; Religious Cultural Groups; United States of America; Canada; Church Membership; Crosscultural Analysis; Volunteer Work.

van de Vliert, E., Huang, X., & Levine, R. V. (2004). National wealth and thermal climate as predictors of motives for volunteer work. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 35(1), 62-73.


Multilevel analyses of World Values Survey data from 13,584 inhabitants of 33 countries reveals a pattern of cross-cultural differences in balancing self- and other-directed helping motivations. Voluntary workers' self-serving and altruistic motivations are positively linked in higher income countries with uncomfortably cold or hot climates. They are also unrelated in higher and lower income countries with comfortable climates and in lower income countries with uncomfortably hot climates. Finally, they are negatively linked in lower income countries with uncomfortably cold climates.
KEY WORDS: Cross Cultural Differences; Income (Economic); Motivation; Temperature Effects; Volunteers; Prediction; Volunteer Work.

Van Emmerik, I. J. H., & Stone, T. H. (2002). Engagement in high- and low-status volunteering. The Netherlands' Journal of Social Sciences, 38(3), 239-251.


This study examined the hypotheses that the engagement in high- & low-status volunteering can be explained by the different goals of volunteers and time and energy constraints. Data were generated from a Dutch sample of 455 volunteers. Correlations & regression analyses revealed that men spent more hours in both high-status & low-status volunteering than women. The results of this study showed that the different goals of the volunteers are related to different kinds of behavior. This followed naturally from the idea that it is important that an individual's ultimate goals are matched with a particular volunteering situation.
KEY WORDS: Volunteers; Social Status; Netherlands; Goals; Constraints; Sex Differences; Volunteer Work.

Van Willigen, M. (2000). Differential benefits of volunteering across the life course. Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 55B(5), S308-S318.


Using nationally representative panel data, this study explored the long-term impacts of volunteering on the life satisfaction and perceived health of persons aged 60 yrs and over. It then compared ordinary least squares regression results for seniors with those for younger adults (aged 25-59 yrs). Findings indicated that older volunteers experienced more life satisfaction over time as a consequence of their volunteer hours than did younger volunteers, especially at high rates of volunteering. Older adults also experienced greater positive changes in their perceived health than did younger adult volunteers. Part of the reason for this different may be the type of volunteer work in which both older and younger adults engage. The context in which older and younger adults volunteer and the meaning of their voluntarism constitute more likely explanations. The author encourages researchers to take into account volunteer commitment when studying volunteering's effect on well-being.
KEY WORDS: Age Differences; Health; Life Satisfaction; Volunteers; Well Being; Volunteer Work.

Vromen, A. (2003). Community-based activism and change: The cases of Sydney and Toronto. City & Community, 2(1), 47-69.


This article presents findings from case studies in two community development organizations based in Sydney, Australia, & Toronto, Canada. 40 in-depth interviews were conducted with activists in the late 1990s. The activists describe the present realities for community development activism and what they conceptualize as the future for political action. The author argues that appreciating how activists substantiate the relevance of community development activism in periods of economic, political, & social change, we are able to build a inclusive notion of participation that is supportive rather than critical of, everyday activist experiences.
KEY WORDS: Community Development; Activism; State Society Relationship; Political Action; Community Organizations; Sydney, Australia; Toronto, Ontario; Community Work.

Wilson, J., & Musick, M. (2003). Doing well by doing good: Volunteering and occupational achievement among American women. The Sociological Quarterly, 44(3), 433-450.


This study tests the popular assumption that volunteer work helps people get good jobs. In doing so, it uses panel data from the Young Women's Module of the National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market Experience. Results indicate that volunteering while a young adult has no effect on whether women will be working for pay 18 years later. However, it has a positive effect on the occupational status of those who do eventually work. The length of time spent in the labor force between early adulthood & middle age suppresses the positive effect of volunteering on occupational status. The same positive effect of volunteer work on occupational status is evident in a separate analysis of women who display more commitment to working for pay by being in the labor force in both 1973 & 1991.
KEY WORDS: Volunteers; Labor Force Participation; Work Experience; Working Women; Occupational Status; Employment Opportunities; Career Patterns; Occupational Achievement; Volunteer Work.

Chapter 3. Learning


Section 3.1

Lifelong Learning–General Perspectives




Avis, J. (2000). Policy talk: Reflexive modernization and the construction of teaching and learning within post-compulsory education and lifelong learning in England. Journal of Education Policy, 15(2), 185-199.
Explores the teaching and learning policy context within postsecondary education and lifelong learning in England. Critically examines globalization, reflexive modernization, and linkages with New Labour's third-way politics. Explores debates on pedagogic practice and waged labor organization. Debates are compromised by a consensual capitalism claiming to promote social justice.
KEY WORDS: Capitalism; Conservatism; Educational Policy; Foreign Countries; Human Capital; Interpersonal Competence; Lifelong Learning; Modernization; Political Parties; Postsecondary Education; Social Change; Socialism; England; Globalization; Social Justice.

Bailey, T. (2003). Analogy, dialectics and lifelong learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 22(2), 132-146.


Compares analogies and dialectics, discussing limitations of the Hegelian/Marxian dialectical form in adult education. Proposes the more holistic approach of Vico, a double dialectic that connects social and individual relationships, knowledge, and experience. Demonstrates a dialectical learning exchange that uses an analogy trigger.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Analogy; Learning Processes; Lifelong Learning; Dialectical Reasoning; Hegel (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich); Vico (Giambattista).

Binkley, M., Hudson, L., Knepper, P., Kolstad, A., Stowe, P., & Wirt, J. (2000). Lifelong learning NCES task force: Final report. District of Columbia: NCES.


In September 1998, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) established a 1-year task force to review the NCES's role concerning lifelong learning. The eight-member task force established a working definition of lifelong learning ("a process or system through which individuals are able and willing to learn at all stages of life, from preschool through old age") and conducted the following activities: (1) summarized and prioritized policy issues concerning lifelong learning; (2) synthesized exiting data to address monitoring and policy needs; (3) identified and prioritized gaps in existing data; and (4) developed recommendations on data collection strategies. The recommendations focused on the following lifelong learning issue areas: the adult population; learning attitudes and skills of adults; labor market demand for adult learning; participation levels and patterns; goals, incentives, and disincentives; investments in adult learning; adult learning providers; instructional delivery and new technologies; informal learning; services and accommodations for adults; outcomes and effectiveness; and the government's role in adult learning. The task force concluded that adult learning is an important area of education that should have a coherent data collection and reporting system within NCES and that NCES should take the following steps to develop such a system: (1) develop a compendium report summarizing existing information on lifelong learning; and (2) modify existing survey instruments that collect relevant information.
KEY WORDS: Academic Achievement; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Agency Role; Change Strategies; Cost Effectiveness; Data Collection; Definitions; Delivery Systems; Education Work Relationship; Educational Attainment; Educational Benefits; Educational Finance; Educational Needs; Educational Policy; Educational Research; Educational Technology; Employment Qualifications; Enrollment Trends; Government School Relationship; Informal Education; Information Needs; Job Skills; Labor Market; Labor Needs; Lifelong Learning; Needs Assessment; Organizational Development; Outcomes of Education; Policy Formation; Postsecondary Education; Program Development; Program Effectiveness; Program Evaluation; Research Design; Research Methodology; Student Educational Objectives; National Center for Education Statistics; Task Force Approach.

Bostrom, A. K., Boudard, E., & Siminou, P. (2001). Lifelong learning in Sweden: The extent to which vocational education and training policy is nurturing lifelong learning in Sweden. CEDEFOP Panorama. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.


The extent to which vocational education and training (VET) policy is nurturing lifelong learning in Sweden was examined through a review of recent policy documents issued by various Swedish government agencies and data from comparative studies compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Adult Literacy Survey. The review focused on the following items: (1) VET policy and the structural framework of Sweden's VET system; (2) support measures to promote participation and access, modes of delivery, and actors; and (3) curricular development, learning strategies, and methodology. The study established that Sweden is making a large public investment in VET, with VET and general education functioning as parts of an integrated system that has been highly decentralized since 1991. Extensive examples of lifelong learning policy within Sweden's educational system were identified. Swedish policy was actively supporting a lifelong learning perspective for VET, and Sweden appeared to be moving toward a genuine system for lifelong learning. (Sixteen tables/figures are included. The following items are appended: list of social partners involved in the knowledge week; tables detailing integration of the Adult Education Initiative with upper-secondary education for adults between 1997 and 1999; and list of pertinent legal provisions.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Adult Education; Adult Literacy; Articulation (Education); Counseling Services; Curriculum Development; Delivery Systems; Disadvantaged; Educational Administration; Educational Finance; Educational Legislation; Educational Objectives; Educational Policy; Educational Trends; Elementary Secondary Education; Enrollment Influences; Enrollment Trends; Experiential Learning; Federal Legislation; Financial Support; Foreign Countries; Government School Relationship; Incentives; Information Services; Information Technology; Labor Force Development; Lifelong Learning; Literature Reviews; Motivation Techniques; National Programs; Nonformal Education; Participation; Postsecondary Education; Prior Learning; Public Policy; School Business Relationship; Social Integration; Student Certification; Teaching Methods; Transitional Programs; Trend Analysis; Vocational Education.

Bourn, D. (2001). Global perspectives in lifelong learning. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 6(3), 325-338.


Explores the importance of lifelong learning in a global society and presents contributions of development education. Discusses the agendas of citizenship and sustainable development and proposes key concepts, skills, and values for a global curriculum.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Citizenship Education; Global Education; Lifelong Learning; Sustainable Development Globalization.

Bundy, A. (2002). Essential connections: School and public libraries for lifelong learning. Australian Library Journal, 51(1), 47-70.


Discusses the importance of information literacy for lifelong learning and the need for cooperation between public libraries and school libraries and teacher librarians. Reports results of a survey of Australian school and public libraries that investigated interaction and cooperation.
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Information Literacy; Library Cooperation; Library Surveys; Lifelong Learning; Public Libraries; School Libraries; Australia; Teacher Librarians.

Burke, P. J., & Jackson, S. (2007). Reconceptualising lifelong learning: Feminist interventions. London, UK: Routledge.


This study exposes the politics by which meanings of lifelong learning are constructed, challenged, resisted, and reproduced, drawing on feminist, post-structuralist insights. The authors argue that the current field of lifelong learning is premised on certain hidden values and assumptions. The book is organized into four sections: a) Reclaiming, which draws on feminist and post-structural conceptual frameworks to create a critical analysis of the current "field" of lifelong learning; b) Retelling, which tells the tales of various multi-positions in lifelong learning; c) Revisioning, which presents a revisioning of learning, providing the critical tools to reconceptualize the field of lifelong learning; d) Reconceptualizing, which considers the future of new approaches to and practices in lifelong learning.
KEY WORDS: Older Adults; Feminism; Lifelong Learning; Education; Philosophy.

Cairns, T. (2000). For the sake of informality. Adults Learning (England), 12(3), 16-18.


Informal learning probably accounts for most significant and meaningful learning in daily life. It should be considered in policy discussions and initiatives about lifelong learning, community development, and work-based learning.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Adult Learning; Educational Policy; Informal Education; Lifelong Learning.

Coffield, F. (2000). Lifelong learning as a lever on structural change? Evaluation of White Paper: Learning To Succeed: A New Framework for Post-16 Learning. Journal of Education Policy, 15(2), 237-246.


Evaluates a (British) government white paper on postsecondary education. Welcomes community councils, social partnerships, and enhanced resources, while criticizing absence of a change model, inadequate employer training investments, and slavish adherence to business's needs and human-capital theory. Empowerment goes further than endless technocratic reforms.
KEY WORDS: Change Strategies; Education Work Relationship; Educational Change; Empowerment; Foreign Countries; Human Capital; Job Skills; Lifelong Learning; Models; Partnerships in Education; Postsecondary Education; Educational Restructuring; England.

Colley, H., Hodkinson, P., & Malcolm, J. (2003). Understanding informality and formality in learning. Adults Learning (England), 15(3), 7-9.


Reviews definitions of and debates over distinctions among formal, informal, and nonformal learning. Outlines questions about four aspects of formality/informality with which to analyze learning situations: process, location/setting, purposes, and content.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Educational Environment; Informal Education; Learning Processes; Nonformal Education; Lifelong Learning.

Colley, H., Hodkinson, P., & Malcom, J. (2003). Informality and formality in learning: A report for the learning and skills research centre. London, England: Learning and Skills Research Centre.


This report was commissioned by the LSDA to map the conceptual terrain around non-formal learning. In order to do this, three research strands were combined. A major literature search, from which we analysed explicit classifications of learning as informal, non-formal or formal. The report provides a detailed investigation of different learning situations in the workplace, further education, adult and community education (ACE) and mentoring. The historical development of ideas through the literature, identifying and analysing two overlapping dimensions of thinking, to which we give the shorthand labels of ‘theoretical’ and ‘political’.
KEY WORDS: Learning; Informal Learning; Learning and Work; Lifelong Learning.

Coppieters, P. (2005). Turning schools into learning organizations. European Journal of Teacher Education, 28(2), 129-139.


The concept of life-long learning has become a frequently used term in political and educational parlance. The final aim of schools has to be the development of the self-directed learner by developing the students' life-long learning competences. To realize this goal schools have to change from institutions that transfer knowledge into learning organizations. This paper will show that this transformation needs a new view on change processes and change management. The old view is known as the School Effectiveness, Improvement and Culture (SEIC) movement. We argue in this paper that the overall direction of this movement with its emphasis on factorial, deterministic and simplistic approaches to change and school improvement has little to offer to understand the complex change processes in schools. Therefore, we explore a new view, in which schools are seen as dynamic, unpredictable and complex social organisms the development of which depends on complex adaptation systems based on knowledge management and learning.
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