Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making

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KEY WORDS: Case Studies; Conference Papers; Disadvantaged Youth; Education Work Relationship; Entrepreneurship; Foreign Countries; Informal Education; Inservice Education; Nonformal Education; On the Job Training; Popular Education; Vocational Education; Latin America; Nicaragua.

Quinn, J., Thomas, L., Slack, K., Casey, L., Thexton, W., & Noble, J. (2006). Lifting the hood: Lifelong learning and young, white, provincial working- class masculinities. British Educational Research Journal. Special Issue: Gender, Class and 'Race' in Lifelong Learning, 32(5), 735-750.

This study examines learning practices among young, white working-class men in the UK provinces. The study uses a dataset on working-class male "drop-out" in the UK and explores neglected issues related to white provincial masculinities and reasons for lower participation in education as well as their increased likelihood to drop out. This study describes working-class men's efforts to engage in lifelong learning and identifies structural inequality and institutional practices that prevent them from becoming involved in learning. In order to increase their participation in lifelong learning the authors of this study indicate a need for evidence based practices and suggest effective policies and programs that recognize and respect students' informal learning.
KEY WORDS: Working-class; Lifelong Learning; Masculinities; Learning; United Kingdom.

Raffo, C. (2003). Disaffected young people and the work-related curriculum at key stage 4: Issues of social capital development and learning as a form of cultural practice. Journal of Education and Work, 16(1), 69-86.

A work-based learning initiative was examined in interviews and focus groups with 110 disaffected/at-risk British youth. Results show how configurations of networks and values at macro, meso, and micro levels enhance or constrain social learning and the ability to develop forms of cultural practice and social capital that aid school-to-work transition.
KEY WORDS: Adolescents; Cultural Influences; Disadvantaged Youth; Foreign Countries; High Risk Students; Networks; Postsecondary Education; Social Capital; Sociocultural Patterns; Student Development; United Kingdom; Work Based Learning; Work and Learning.

Rainbird, H. (2007). Can training remove the glue from the "sticky floor" of low-paid work for women? Equal Opportunities International, 26(6), 555-572.

The UK government has suggested that women's inequality can be addressed through improved education and training. The aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which this is the case by examining the opportunities for learning in a range of low-paid jobs in local government, which are predominantly but not exclusively occupied by women. Drawing on a case study involving over 100 face-to-face interviews with low-paid workers, their supervisors, managers, trainers and union representatives in one local authority, it uses Scherer's 2004 framework to examine whether low-paid jobs and the opportunities they provide for training act as "stepping stones" or "traps" to job progression and better pay. As a solution to the problem of low pay, the discourse of individual self-improvement under-estimates the structural problems facing low-paid workers, their lack of resources and entitlements to learning. Moreover, it ignores the fact that many low-paid workers in the public sector value their work as socially useful. This public service ethos should not be a justification for low basic pay. This paper extends the theme of gender equality in UK public services by examining to what extent measures focusing on education and training can lift women workers off the "sticky floor" of low-paid low status work.

KEY WORDS: Formal Learning; Gender; Gender Equality; Low-paid Workers; Entitlement; Skill Training; Women.

Ranson, S. (2003). Public accountability in the age of neo-liberal governance. Journal of Education Policy, 18(5), 459-480.

Analyzes the impact of neo-liberal corporate accountability on educational governance since the demise of professional accountability in the mid-1970s. Argues that corporate accountability is inappropriate for educational governance. Proposes an alternative model: democratic accountability.
KEY WORDS: Accountability; Democratic Values; Elementary Secondary Education; Governance; Liberalism; Work and Learning.

Smyth, J. (2003). The making of young lives with/against the school credential. Journal of Education and Work, 16(2), 127-146.

Interviews with 209 Australian young people who chose not to complete secondary education reveal the complexity of this decision is based on their individual agency in constructing alternative lives. They resist credentialing, which poses an impediment rather than serves as an access mechanism.
KEY WORDS: Australia; Credential; Early School Leavers; Work and Learning.
Stratton, M., & Levine, B. (2000). Women and economic development: Changing knowledge, changing practice: A summary of research results. NALL Working Paper No. 12. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at:
A preliminary study explored how Canadian practitioners who are engaged in community economic development (CED) that includes or is specific to women gain new information relevant to their work and how they incorporate that new learning into their daily practice. Interview questions focused on sources of information, learning opportunities and processes, relative usefulness of different kinds of knowledge, and how practitioners managed to apply new knowledge to their work. Results indicated nearly all 15 participants identified lack of an organized source of information about women's CED as a problem. Other major themes were that all respondents reported multiple work duties that required different sets of knowledge; many sources were used to obtain the diverse information practitioners required; participant ratings suggested most organizations are engaged in ongoing efforts to incorporate and improve on CED best practice; failure to implement available knowledge was usually due to a lack of resources such as time and money; practitioners frequently reported applying their knowledge concerning class, gender, and other diversity issues to educate others involved in CED; and, for many practitioners, a clash of ideas about what counted as learning and valid knowledge occurred on a variety of fronts. The strongest implication of the results was the need for more CED funding. (Appendixes include interview results.) (YLB)
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Community Development; Economic Development; Educational Finance; Educational Opportunities; Educational Research; Females; Interviews; Lifelong Learning; Theory Practice Relationship; Womens Education.

Stratton, M., & Jackson, T. (2001). Knowledge collisions: Perspectives from CED practitioners working with women. NALL Working Paper No. 42. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at:

In 1998/9 the Centre for the Study of Training Investment and Economic Restructuring (CSTIER) conducted a study that allowed front-line community economic development workers across Canada to explore the ways they gained information needed to work with women participants in community economic development initiatives. One theme that emerged from the qualitative interview data was the existence of a plethora of knowledge clashes related to social situation, the legitimisation of knowledge, and the practice of community development (economic or social). Collisions between these different perspectives appears to create a "discord of knowing."

The problems deriving from such tensions of knowledge are also identified and discussed in international, cross-disciplinary community development and community economic development literature. While gender affects an individual's experience and participation within a community setting, it cannot be considered in isolation from class, ethnicity, geography, dis/ability, and many other social factors. An academic recognition of this complexity is one thing; addressing the resulting tensions in practice is another - and not an easy matter to resolve.

Drawing on anecdotal illustrations from the study data, this chapter explores the intersections of formal and informal learning as they occur in the social process of community social and economic development. It is argued that front-line development workers construct a particular knowledge set derived from a synthesis of formal and informal learning sources and apply the resulting perspective in an attempt to mediate the contested terrain of knowledge and development work. In the process, collisions occur and boundaries are challenged among and within academic, government, business, and practice orientations. Informal learning becomes not just a means to foster opposition, but a potential way to negotiate conflict and find resolution.

Presently, among practitioners, strong agreement is emerging concerning what is needed for successful development outcomes. Their insights, however, are not necessarily recognized as legitimate, most especially by those providing development funding. Changing such structural attitudes towards the value and importance of informal local knowledge is vital to moving forward (Authors' abstract).

KEY WORDS: Adults; Community Development; Constructivism; Economic Development; Employed Women; Employee Attitudes; Employer Attitudes; Epistemology; Experiential Learning; Females; Informal Education; Sex Bias; Socioeconomic Influences; Socioeconomic Status; Theory Practice Relationship; Womens Education.

Thiessen, V., & Blasius, J. (2002). The social distribution of youth's images of work. The Canadian of Sociology and Anthropology, 39(1), 49-79.

The extent and manner in which youth's description of work reflects their location in the social structure is examined using face-to-face structured interview responses from 1,209 17-year-olds. In this paper, the authors show that social class is the primary organizing principle when youth look at their parents' work, whereas it is gender with respect to their own expected work. The fundamental cognitive principle when youth looks at parental occupations is an evaluative one, juxtaposing desirable with undesirable work characteristics. This evaluative opposition evaporates when youth contemplate their own future jobs, except among working-class boys, who are more likely to expect work with undesirable characteristics.
KEY WORDS: Children & Youth; Attitudes; Sociology; Employment; Social Classes; Youth; Polls and Surveys; Work; Social Aspects; Work and Learning.

Torres-Velasquez, D. (2000). Sociocultural theory: Standing at the crossroads. Remedial and Special Education, 21(2), 66-69.

The introductory article to this special issue on sociocultural perspectives in special education focuses on sociocultural theory in the 21st century, especially cultural shifts as a function of history, demographic shifts, power shifts to such groups as non-government organizations, and the importance of assuring equal access to education for children with disabilities.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Cultural Context; Demography; Disabilities; Elementary Secondary Education; Equal Education; Social Influences; Sociocultural Patterns; Special Education; Theories; Trend Analysis.

Toulouse, P. R., & Anishnawbek, S. (2001). The decision makers and varying conceptions of cultural inclusion at Beedaban school. NALL Working Paper No. 30. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at:

The following article examines the underlying tensions between three First Nations decision-making bodies; a Parent School Advisory Group, Education Committee and Elementary School Teachers in regards to the Native cultural and language content in the classroom. The goal of the research was to explore and present the concepts, beliefs, practices, worldview and values that underlie and/or guide decisions related to an Aboriginal education issue. The site for this discussion is Beedaban Elementary School on Sagamok First Nation which is a small Anishinabek (Ojibwe, Odawa & Pottawatomi) community located on the north shores of Lake Huron (Authors' abstract).
KEY WORDS: First Nation; Aboriginal Education; Cultural Education; Curriculum Development; Educational Attitudes; Educational Needs; Elementary Education; Participative Decision Making; School Community Relationship; Teacher Attitudes.

Tseng, V. (2004). Family interdependence and academic adjustment in college: Youth from immigrant and U.S.-born families. Child Development, 75(3), 966-983.

This study is an examination of family interdependence and its implications for academic adjustment among late adolescents and young adults in college (18 to 25 years). Survey data and university records were collected on 998 American youth with Asian Pacific, Latino, African/Afro-Caribbean, and European backgrounds. Results indicate that Asian Pacific Americans placed more importance on family interdependence than did European Americans. Across all pan-ethnic groups, youth with immigrant parents placed greater emphasis on family interdependence than did youth with U.S.-born parents. The study distinguished between family interdependence attitudes and behaviors and found that they had counteracting influences on academic adjustment: Family obligation attitudes contributed to greater academic motivation among youth from immigrant as compared with U.S.-born families, but greater behavioral demands detracted from achievement.
KEY WORDS: College Students; Family Relations; Immigration; Racial and Ethnic Differences; School Adjustment; Academic Achievement Motivation; American Indians; Asians; Blacks; Hispanics; Whites.

Valentova, M., Smidova, I., & Katrnak, T. (2007). Gender segregation in the labour market placed in the context of educational segregation: Cross-national comparison. Sociológia - Slovak Sociological Review, 39(3), 214-244.

This article focuses on the occupational gender segregation in relation to the gender segregation in education. Given the increasing educational attainment of women over the past decades, one would assume that their position in the labour market, including the gender segregation in occupational categories, has improved as well. However, the results of current research prove that despite all the changes and progress made with respect to the level of education of women, the level of occupational segregation tends to remain relatively stable over time. This article provides a cross-national comparison of levels of occupational gender segregation and examines the relation between the level of occupational gender segregation and gender segregation.
KEY WORDS: Educational Inequality; Gendered Social Structure; Labour Force Participation; Labour Market Segmentation; Occupational Segregation; Sexual Inequality.

Vite Perez, M. A. (2003). Notes for thinking about the new social inequality. Sociologica, 18(52), 211-225.

Changes in the welfare state in the last 20 years leading to the new social inequality are reviewed, using Mexico as a case. The new social inequality is the product of capitalist accumulation utilizing privatization & deregulation within a neoliberal perspective. Neoliberal policy introduced a market logic into social services administered by the welfare state, so that the state is now in a position of serving only a limited population, with the consequent deterioration of the collective welfare. High levels of unemployment & underemployment have also led to new modes of social inequality. Contradictions between the logic of capital & the logic of state have reduced the capacity of the state to guarantee social rights. Limited access to basic services & poverty have serious negative effects on the excluded population, who are even criminalized for their role in the problem.
KEY WORDS: Neoliberalism; Mexico; Social Inequality; Privatization; Deregulation; Social Services; Welfare State; Social Closure.

Walsh, A. (2006). Will increasing academic recognition of workplace learning in the UK reinforce existing gender divisions in the labour market? Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 58(4), 551-562.

In the United Kingdom there has been a considerable increase in the academic recognition of workplace learning, and a number of new awards drawing on workplace learning have been introduced. These include apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships, both of which contain National Vocational Qualifications, and the Foundation Degree. In addition, academic practice based on a credit framework has allowed recognition of workplace learning at higher levels of achievement, including postgraduate level. The facility to recognise a broader range of learning across the range of workplace awards has been welcomed as an aspect of widening both participation in and access to formal learning. This article will consider these developments across the spectrum of educational awards from apprenticeships to work-based Master's programmes in the context of existing arrangements in the labour market. There is evidence from Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) reports that work experience placements (the main component of work experience at school) are segregated by gender. Statistics relating to some of the new awards also indicate the type of gender divisions which reflect established workplaces. Additionally, the effect of employment factors (such as the glass ceiling and full-time versus part-time working) constrains the extent to which women can take advantage of recognition of workplace learning at higher academic levels, where learners must be in a workplace position which supports the development and exercise of sophisticated skills. Consideration across the range of qualifications and employment supports the EOC's case that, given the lack of explicit recognition of equal opportunities and gender segregation in national developments and policies, the new opportunities for workplace learning are likely to reinforce the status quo.
KEY WORDS: Apprenticeships; Equal Opportunities Commission; Gender Segregation; Glass Ceiling; National Vocational Qualification; Recognition of Workplace Learning; Women; Work Experience Placements; Workplace Learning.

Wedgwood, N. (2005). Just one of the boys? A life history case study of a male physical education teacher. Gender and Education, 17(2), 189-201.

Studies of physical education teacher training have already established that hegemonic forms of masculinity are reinforced and reproduced both in the hidden curriculum (Flintoff, 1997) and the informal student culture (Skelton, 1993). Given this, an important feminist concern is whether male PE teachers whose own masculine identities are anchored in their athletic prowess simply "teach" their young male charges to construct hegemonic forms of masculinity through PE and school sport and/or whether they necessarily marginalize and inferiorize female students. This paper provides a life history case study of a male PE teacher's role both in reproducing and challenging gendered norms in his capacity as coach of a schoolboy and schoolgirl Australian Rules football team.

KEY WORDS: High Schools; Masculinity; Hidden Curriculum; Physical Education Teachers; Gender Issues; Males; Foreign Countries; Sex Stereotypes; Sex Role; Teacher Influence; Women's Athletics.

Willis, P., & Carden, P. (Eds.). (2004). Lifelong learning and the democratic imagination: Revisioning justice, freedom and community. Flaxton: Post Pressed.

This book is a collection of essays from Adult and Community Educators in Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Canada, America and South Africa. There is a general belief here that democracy is about people consciously sharing power and that such deliberate choices to share power, draw on ideals and values of sharing with and including others. In modern life this generous and equitable stance has to be learned and re-learned against competing cultures of individualism and competition. Such learning needs more than logical argument. It occurs when powerful evocations of human equality and dignity capture the human imagination and move the heart. The work of this book is to pursue what needs to be done to generate suitable pre-dispositions for this unselfish sociable spirit to take root and grow. The book has five sections. The first concerns visions of democratic imagining: the second looks at predispositions for democratic imagining. The last three explore the educational work of imagining democracy in three learning arenas: community and work locations, higher and work-related education and schools.
KEY WORDS: Lifelong Learning; Australia; New Zealand; England; Scotland; Canada; America; South Africa; Democratic Values; Work; Higher Education.

Wotherspoon, T., & Butler, J. (1999). Informal learning: Cultural experiences and entrepreneurship among Aboriginal people. NALL Working Paper No. 4. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at:

This discussion paper explores interactions among formal learning, informal learning, and life conditions and opportunities experienced by aboriginal people in Canada. The contradictory importance of education for aboriginal people is examined with respect to three related aspects of these relationships. First, the paper summarizes students' accounts of their experiences in conventional and alternative school settings in three Saskatchewan communities, exploring how these relate to the students' broader cultural and home environments. Second, it examines the formal and informal educational experiences of a small group of adults surveyed in an urban Indian and Metis Friendship Center. Finally, the paper explores issues that arise around the emergence of entrepreneurial training and entrepreneurship, areas posed by many commentators as a possible way of bridging formal and informal learning and overcoming the longstanding marginalization of aboriginal people from labor market and economic participation. The paper concludes that gaps remain in the attainment of educational success by aboriginal people, relative to the general population, when viewed in terms of conventional educational indicators. However, the aboriginal youth and adults involved in the study place a high value in formal schooling, mainstream economic activities, and entrepreneurial opportunities to provide routes for individual and community advancement. The study suggests that the aboriginal peoples could benefit more if the educational system better integrated their skills and culture and acknowledged the strengths that the aboriginal people bring to learning. (The paper lists 40 references.) (KC).
KEY WORDS: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education; Canada Natives; Cultural Context; Cultural Influences; Cultural Isolation; Cultural Relevance; Cultural Traits; Economic Opportunities; Education Work Relationship; Educational Attitudes; Educational Demand; Educational Improvement; Elementary Secondary Education; Empowerment; Entrepreneurship; Foreign Countries; Indigenous Populations; Informal Education; Outcomes of Education; Social Values; Canada.

Wright, E. O. (Ed.). (2005). Approaches to class analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Few concepts have been as central to sociology as ‘class’ and yet class remains a perpetually contested idea. Sociologists not only disagree on how best to define the concept of class but on its general role in social theory and as well on its continued relevance to the sociological analysis of contemporary society. Some people understand that classes have largely dissolved in contemporary societies; others think class remains one of the fundamental forms of social inequality and social power. Some view class as a narrow economic phenomenon whilst others adopt an expansive conception that includes cultural dimensions as well as economic conditions. This book examines the theoretical foundations of six major perspectives of class with each chapter written by an expert in the field. It concludes with a conceptual map of these alternative approaches by posing the question: ‘If class is the answer, what is the question?’

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