Friday, February 13, 2009

Knowing your place

I post the odd rant here about adult education and my despair over New Labour's policy on lifelong learning. However, nothing I write can compete with the clarity of this wonderful short article by Alison Wolf in January's Adults Learning.

Wolf has long questioned the deterministic assumptions about the link between economic growth and educational qualifications. Here she takes on the stifling narrowness of the government's thinking and its limitation of human possibilities.
The virtues of ‘lifelong learning’ may trip off every minister’s tongue, and launch countless speeches, but the only sorts of adult learning which actually have legitimacy, or are seen as deserving of support, are those which make people do their current jobs better.
She concludes,
If we want to stop, and reverse, the destruction of adult education perhaps we have to start here; with the mysterious fact that our concept of education is more narrow and impoverished than any previous generation. Change that, and the rest will follow.
Read it all.

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