Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Aboriginal Australians; Adult Education; Educational Opportunities; Educational Resources; Foreign Countries; Job Training; Rural Areas; Vocational Education; Australia (Northern Territory).

Baran, J., Berube, G., Roy, R., & Salmon, W. (2000). Adult education and training in Canada: Key knowledge gaps. Quebec: HRDC.


This paper identifies important knowledge gaps in adult education and training (AET) in Canada and starts to explore strategies to fill these gaps. Following an introduction in English and French, each of the next three sections is comprised of a review of the current state of knowledge on three topics (outcomes of adult learning, motivations and barriers to adult learning, and informal learning) and a discussion of major knowledge gaps relevant to each. Section 2, on outcomes, argues that more must be known about outcomes in terms of overall benefits and costs if the adequacy of AET in Canada is to be judged. Section 3, on motivations and barriers, reports that key knowledge gaps include understanding reasons for participation and non-participation, and assessing whether individual decisions to participate or not are somehow unwarranted because they do not fully reflect associated costs and benefits. The section also argues that increasing knowledge of barriers to AET is a complementary strategy to estimating rates of return in the process of judging the adequacy of training levels in Canada and is essential in design of specific policy actions towards the pursuit of equity goals. Distribution considerations are addressed. Section 4 discusses issues related to informal learning and questions whether informal training is the optimal way for some groups to acquire new skills. Section 5 situates the issue of AET in the context of a strategy of human capital investment and provides a sense of what research priorities should be. Appendixes contain a statistical portrait of AET in Canada; summaries of major Canadian surveys of AET; and 48-item bibliography.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Cost Effectiveness; Developed Nations; Educational Benefits; Educational Needs; Enrollment Influences; Equal Education; Foreign Countries; Human Capital; Informal Education; Job Training; Learning Motivation; Outcomes of Education; Participation; Policy Formation; Research Needs; Skill Development; Student Motivation; Canada; Return on Investment.

Bathmaker, A.-M. (2005). Hanging in or shaping a future: Defining a role for vocationally related learning in a "knowledge" society. Journal of Education Policy, 20(1), 81-100.


This paper explores the changing roles and purposes of vocational education for young people in what has been called a 'knowledge' society, using the General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) as an example. This qualification dominated the broad, vocationally-related route within the English qualifications system throughout the 1990s. The paper considers how lecturers in a college of further education understood the role and purpose of GNVQs, and explores the ways in which they engaged in mediating national qualifications policy in practice, through their engagement with students and constructions of students' learning identities. The paper draws on data from a case study of one college of further education in the English Midlands, which involved interviews with lecturers and students across three vocational areas of the GNVQ. The focus in this paper is on the ways in which lecturers constructed GNVQs around what they perceived to be students' needs. They encouraged students to use GNVQs to shape a future, which involved progression to further and higher education. The paper argues that, whilst such attempts to create a constructive and meaningful role for vocational education are important, they do not overcome the hierarchical structure of participation in formal learning which remains inherent in the education system. The paper concludes by considering the implications of this study for the future role of vocational education for young people within a wider system of education and training.
KEY WORDS: Qualifications; Young Adults; Adult Education; Vocational Education; Futures (of Society); Foreign Countries; Student Needs; Higher Education; Case Studies; Role of Education; England.

Beder, H., Tomkins, J., Medina, P., Riccioni, R., & Deng, W. (2006). Learners' engagement in adult literacy education. Cambridge, MA: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy.


This study focuses on engagement in adult literacy education, specifically ways to better understand how and why adult learners engage in literacy instruction because engagement is a precondition to learning progress. Over a period of five years researchers studied six classes: three basic literacy, two adult high school, and one GED preparation. The methodology was qualitative, with multiple data-collection methods, including the use of video, traditional ethnographic observation, and learner interviews. The teachers of the classes studied participated in some of the data-analysis sessions, and when they did, the session was recorded and transcribed. Multiple data sources enabled researchers to triangulate in data analysis. The study found there were three contextual factors that shaped engagement in the classes studied: the instructional system, teachers' roles, and classroom norms.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Literacy; Motivation; Ethnography; Pedagogy; Classroom; Teachers.

Belzer, A. (Ed.). (2007). Toward defining and improving quality in adult basic education: Issues and challenges. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


This volume revisits, problematizes, and expands the meaning of quality in the context of adult basic education. It includes contributors from the realms of both policy and practice and covers both major instructional areas (reading, writing, and mathematics) and broader issues of literacy, learning, and adulthood. Each chapter focuses on what improving quality in the field might look like through the particular lens of the author's work. Amongst contributors, the term "adult basic education" refers to the broad range of services for adults who wish to improve their literacy and language skills, including beginning and intermediate writing, writing and numeracy, pre-GED, GED/Adult Secondary Education, and ESL instruction that takes place in a range of contexts including schools, community-based programs, and workplace development programs. The volume is organized around three themes: (1) Accountability, Standards, and the Use of Documentation and Research; (2) Program Structures and Instruction; and (3) Rethinking Our Assumptions and Concepts.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Continuing Education; Quality; Training; Immigrants and Refugees; Literacy; Curriculum; Pedagogy; Digital Divide.

Brookfield, S. (2005). The power of critical theory: Liberating adult learning and teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.


This book provides an overview of how sometimes esoteric and internally divided critical theory can still help to illuminate the contexts of adult learning and orients teaching practices. This book features a comprehensive treatment of the power of Socratic questioning of dogmas and a sustained critique of the conservative status quo.
KEY WORDS: Critical Theory; Adult Learning; Pedagogy; Teaching; Continuing Education.

Federighi, P. (Ed.). (1999). Glossary of adult learning in Europe. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities. Directorate-General for Education and Culture.


Detailed "definitions" of more than 150 key terms covering the lexicon currently being used in the field of adult learning in 20 European countries. Beginning with an introduction that discusses the glossary's theoretical and historical references and includes 14 references and a 16-item bibliography. After the introduction, the glossary entries were developed by 40 experts of different nationalities including: the term in English and/or the language in which it originated; the country/countries where the term developed; detailed information about the term's origin, evolution, and current usage; and one or more references. Key terms belong to one of the following categories: (1) theories & general concepts; (2) strategies & policies (general concepts, legislation and measures); (3) system & sectors (the general system, services, school, culture, work, organizations and providers); (4) organizations & providers; (5) programs, activities, and methods; (6) the public; and (7) adult learning operators. Various entries concern a wide variety of forms of adult education, including community, continuing, nonformal, popular, reflexive, vocational, work-based, literacy, open, civic, professional, and corporate education, as well as lifelong learning, self-directed learning, study associations, workers' universities, apprenticeships, along with adult education programs for specific ethnic groups and special populations.

KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Adult Education; Adult Educators; Adult Learning; Adult Programs; Certification; Colleges; Continuing Education; Correctional Education; Definitions; Delivery Systems; Distance Education; Education Work Relationship; Educational Finance; Educational Legislation; Educational Objectives; Educational Policy; Educational Practices; Educational Quality; Educational Research; Educational Theories; Financial Support; Foreign Countries; General Education; Glossaries; Government School Relationship; High Schools; Independent Study; Informal Education; Leadership Training; Learning Theories; Lifelong Learning; Models; Nontraditional Students; Open Education; Organizations (Groups); Partnerships in Education; Postsecondary Education; Public Policy; Special Education; Student Evaluation; Teacher Education; Teaching Methods; Universities; Vocational Education; Youth Programs; Europe; Folk High Schools; Institutionalization (of Change); Social Partners (European Community); Stakeholders; Work Based Learning.

Fretwell, D. H., & Colombano, J. E. (2000). Adult continuing education: An integral part of lifelong learning. Emerging policies and programs for the 21st century in upper and middle income countries. World Bank discussion paper. Washington: The World Bank.


Adult continuing education (ACE) can be a major force in human capital development and an integral part of lifelong learning. Although recognition of the importance of ACE in developed countries is increasing, the impact of ACE is not well understood in some middle-income countries (MICs), there is a lack of leadership, and the sector is somewhat underdeveloped. ACE must be viewed as a number of interrelated policies and delivery systems reflecting the needs of different clients and components of ACE. Successful governance of ACE depends on involving key stakeholders. Major issues that need to be addressed include equity, access, and support for career progression for adults. Although individuals and/or employers often bear the financial costs of ACE, there is recognition of the need for investment of some public funds to support ACE programs in literacy and foundation education and for some categories of clients to ensure access and promote equity objectives. MICs that are developing ACE as an integral part of lifelong learning must adopt policy and delivery models addressing learning objectives through a combination of short- and long-term programs to a broad range of clients in what are often nonconventional settings.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Articulation (Education); Certification; Comparative Analysis; Continuing Education; Delivery Systems; Developed Nations; Developing Nations; Disadvantaged; Distance Education; Education Work Relationship; Educational Administration; Educational Finance; Educational Policy; Educational Practices; Educational Technology; Educational Theories; Employment Patterns; Employment Qualifications; Enrollment Trends; Equal Education; Financial Support; Foreign Countries; Government School Relationship; Human Capital; Job Skills; Lifelong Learning; National Standards; Needs Assessment; Nongovernmental Organizations; Outcomes of Education; Postsecondary Education; Role of Education; Salary Wage Differentials; Theory Practice Relationship; Training; Trend Analysis; Workplace Literacy.

Gopalakrishnan, A. (2006). Supporting technology integration in adult education: Critical issues and models. Adult Basic Education: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Adult Literacy Educational Planning, 16(1), 39-56.


This article investigates the types of personal support critical in helping teachers to integrate technology. Central to the investigation is 1) how adult education programs provide this support and who is best equipped to provide it and 2) what organizational implications should program administrators consider when institutionalizing this personal support infrastructure. Eight adult education programs are analyzed to identify three specific types of personal technology support. The factors affecting a program's choice of a model are explored along with the implications for establishing these new technology support roles within organizations.

KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Technology; Pedagogy; Continuing Education; Infrastructure; Organizations.

Grubb, W. N. (2005). Cinderella without her prince: Further education colleges in England. Perspectives: policy and practice in higher education, 9(1), 23-28.


In the expansion and increasingly vocational orientation of English education, Further Education (FE) colleges have played special roles (as have community colleges in the US). FE colleges are conventionally described as the Cinderella of British education--the overlooked beauty who comes to widespread attention because of her courtship by the prince. Certainly FE colleges are overlooked, in the sense that they receive much less attention than do universities, and also in the sense that there has been relatively little research and writing about them. But it is unclear who the prince might be, and policies over the past decade have not done much to raise these institutions from relative obscurity. FE colleges developed from adult education and training, part-time and voluntary, provided in fragmented and ad hoc ways. These providers, including many mechanics' institutes, aggregated into technical colleges providing day-release training for apprentices and employed individuals. In the late 1960s these were transformed into FE colleges with a broader array of academic, vocational, and pre-vocational offerings--like the broad array of offerings in community colleges.
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Adult Education; Technical Institutes; Continuing Education; Educational History; Vocational Education; Career Education; Educational Policy; Government Role; England.

Hamil-Luker, J., & Uhlenberg, P. (2002). Later life education in the 1990s: Increasing involvement and continuing disparity. Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 57B(6), S324-S331.


This paper examines age differences in adults' participation in, perceived barriers to, and institutional support for educational activities provided by schools, businesses, and community organizations in the 1990s. Researchers conducted descriptive and logistic regression analyses on a sample of respondents aged 30-74 yrs from the National Household Education Surveys. Adult education participation rates increased for all ages over the 1990s, but gains were proportionately largest among people in later phases of the life course. Although age was a weaker predictor of engaging in educational activities at the end of the 1990s than it was at the beginning of the decade, older adults continue to be less likely than younger ones to participate in education and training provided by businesses and schools. Some age discrepancy occurs because employers are more likely to provide financial support for training to younger employees. Older adults, however, are less likely than younger adults to perceive obstacles to their participation in education and training. It is concluded that, although age-graded roles of student, worker, and retiree are becoming increasingly blurred, Americans' pursuit of education at the end of the 20th century was still guided by age-related role expectations.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Age Differences; Participation; Trends.

Harrison, R., Reeve, F., Cartwright, M., & Edwards, R. (Eds.). (2002). Supporting lifelong learning. New York: Routledge.

This Open University Reader looks at the practices of learning and teaching which have been developed to support lifelong learning, and the understanding and assumptions that underpin them. The selection of texts trace the widening scope of academic understanding of learning and teaching, and considers the implications for those who develop programmes of learning. The authors examine in great depth those theories that have had the greatest impact in the field, theories of reflection and learning from experience and theories of situated learning. The implications of these theories are examined in relation to themes which run across the reader, primarily, workplace learning, literacies, and the possibilities offered by information and communication technologies.The particular focus of this Reader is on the psychological or cognitive phenomena that happen in the minds of individual learners. The readings have been selected to represent a range of experience in different sectors of education from around the globe.
KEY WORDS: Adult Learning; Continuing Education; Lifelong Learning; Work and Learning.

Herman, L., & Mandell, A. (2004). From teaching to mentoring: Principles and practice, dialogue and life in adult education. New York: RoutledgeFalme.


This book explains both the principles of adult education and their application in the daily work of teaching adult college students. The authors draw upon more than two decades of experience integrating research and practice to contribute to the prominent national and international discussions.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; College; Work.

Hodgson, A., Edward, S., & Gregson, M. (2007). Riding the waves of policy? The case of basic skills in adult and community learning in England. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 59(2), 213-229.


This study uses data from both secondary sources and in-depth interviews to explore the impact of policy on teaching, learning, assessment and inclusion in Adult and Community Learning (ACL) Skills for Life (SfL) provision. The analysis focuses on the government's use of five policy-steering mechanisms: funding, inspection, planning, targets and policy initiatives. The study uses evidence from four sets of interviews with teachers, learners and managers of ACL in eight sites of learning (four in London and four in the North East) over a period of 26 months. The article concludes that there is a symbiotic relationship between ACL and SfL provision and that, while the combined effects of targets and funding have the most powerful effects on tutor and manager actions, inspection, planning and tutors' and managers' own professional values also play an important role in shaping the teaching of literacy and numeracy in ACL sites. The authors suggest that professionals at the local level should be allowed to play a greater role in SfL policy-making to ensure effective policy and practice.
KEY WORDS: Policy; Educational Reform; Restructuring; Funding; School Inspection; Teaching; School System; Professional Values.

Hodkinson, P., Anderson, G., Colley, H., Davies, J., Diment, K., Scaife, T., et al. (2007). Learning cultures in further education. Educational Review, 59(4), 399-413.


This paper studies the nature of learning cultures in English Further Education (FE), as revealed in the Transforming Learning Cultures (TLC) in FE research project. The article identifies four characteristics of a generic FE learning culture: the significance of learning cultures in every site; the significance of the tutor in influencing site learning cultures; the often negative impact of policy and management approaches; and the ever-present issue of course status. The article also describes different types of learning cultures within FE related to the degrees of synergy and conflict between the multiple influences on learning in those sites. The authors conclude that sites with greater synergy have more effective learning; however, such synergy is sometimes difficult to achieve, and brings further problems in its wake.
KEY WORDS: Further Education; Learning Cultures; Educational Reform.

Hudson, L., Bhandari, R., Peter, K., & Bills, D. B. (2005). Labor force participation in formal work-related education in 2000-01. Washington: National Center for Education Statistics.


Of the many purposes education serves in society, one of the most important is to prepare people for work. In today's economy, education is important not just to help adults enter the labor market, but also to ensure that adults remain marketable throughout their working lives. This report examines how adults in the labor force use formal education and training to acquire and maintain their workforce skills. This report examines how adults in the labor force use formal education and training to acquire and maintain their workforce skills. The report is based on data from the Adult Education and Lifelong Learning Survey of the 2001 National Household Education Surveys Program (AELL-NHES:2001) conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The report describes participation in work-related education among 25- to 64-year-old civilian, non-institutionalized labor force members (employed and unemployed adults) over a 12-month period in 2000-01. (The age restriction and the restriction to labor force members make this population different from that used in past NCES reports of NHES data.) The comparisons made in the text were tested using the Student's "t" statistic; all differences cited are statistically significant at the .05 level. Appended are: (1) Standard Error Tables; and (2) Technical Notes and Methodology.

KEY WORDS: Lifelong Learning; Labor Market; Labor Force; Education Work Relationship; Job Skills; Adults; Adult Education; Postsecondary Education; Apprenticeships; Vocational Education.

Hughes, M. E., & Turner, P. E. (2002). Mapping research into the delivery of work-based learning. LSDA Research Report. London: Learning and Skills Development Agency.


This report provides a summary of findings from research into work-related education and training undertaken over the last five years by organizations then called the Further Education Development Agency (FEDA) and Quality and Performance Improvement Dissemination (QPID) Unit of the Department for Education and Employment. Cross-references to relevant material are included in the individual topic-related sections. After an introduction, Section 2 lists overarching messages and provides a summary of key findings and their implications for post-16 learning. Sections 3-13 report findings for specific aspects of post-16 learning. Each section includes keywords; summary of key messages from FEDA/QPID research; and further details of the key FEDA/QPID research findings. The 11 aspects of post-16 learning considered are the learner and learning experience; learning facilitators (teacher/trainer/assessor/mentor); teaching and learning methods; the content of learning programs; assessment and qualifications; quality and inspection; barriers to participation; equal opportunities; learners, learning, and the labor market; policy/program development; and operational management. Appendixes include annotated bibliographies of 78 topic-related FEDA and 60 topic-related QPID materials; a 230-item bibliography of further QPID information; and a glossary. The annotated bibliography entries include audience, purpose, and which topic(s) are addressed.
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