Adult Education and the State: Towards a Politics of Adult Education

Adult Education and the State: Towards a Politics of Adult Education

Adult Education and the State: Towards a Politics of Adult Education

Adult Education and the State: Towards a Politics of Adult Education

Synopsis

Discussing such themes as democracy and citizenship, this book is the first systematic attempt to analyse adult education from a political perspective.

Excerpt

The history of the education of adults is both complex and paradoxical: liberal adult education began in civil society as a religious concern which grew into a social movement but, and especially as a result of the introduction of the Welfare State, it is now considered to be part of the educational provision of the state. However, in more recent years its position has been threatened by the increasing emphasis on vocational education and training which, incidentally, also has a long history in civil society. Hence, the various forms of the education of adults have now become an element in government policy, which means that it has become increasingly important to develop a political understanding of the education of adults.

The idea of a politics of adult education has occurred frequently in the field of adult education, but its emphases have always come from a radical perspective rather than from that of political theory. Such an approach reflects the history of liberal adult education. This book is offered as an introduction to the study of the political theory of the education of adults. in the opening chapters the relationship between adult education and civil society is explored and, thereafter, theories of the state are examined. Policy and justice are the focus of the third chapter whilst the fourth looks at the way that the structures and content of adult education can be related to the bureaucratic state. Adult educators, in common with politicians, have tended to expound the benefits of democracy, although the term is rarely defined, and so the fifth chapter discusses the concept of democracy and shows that there are a variety of different forms with which the education of adults might be related. the idea of citizenship is also examined in this chapter, and this leads quite naturally into the discussion on human and citizenship rights in the sixth chapter, where it is suggested that the education of adults might be regarded as a citizenship right which

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