Making Sense of Lifelong Learning: Respecting the Needs of All

By Norman Evans | Go to book overview

Chapter 7

Widening participation - doing it

Government leading from the front

Doing it means doing something different. It means government leading from the front because what has been done so far does not work well enough; there needs to be a review of policy. Thus doing it differently means the government paying attention to a list of things which it alone can do. It means getting rid of its obsessions with micro-management and the vocational version of lifelong learning. It means the Treasury dropping its obsession with bean counting as a means of policing the use of public funds. It means also the Treasury adopting accounting systems which are flexible, designed deliberately to accommodate risks of failure so as to free up the LSC and formal institutions to get on with their job. It means exploiting the experience and expertise of voluntary bodies and trade unions. Of fundamental importance if the drive for lifelong learning is a serious element in public policy is to reconsider how secondary schools can become a better preparation for lifelong learning. Above all it means the government replacing rhetoric with leading from the front through coherent action promoted by joined-up government to bring the Department for Education and Skills, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Treasury and the Cabinet Office into line.

But doing it also needs something else. Flexible arrangements for space, place, content, pedagogy for adult learners, need flexible staffing arrangements to support them.


Staffing

As in every walk of life so it is with education; everything depends on people, their attitudes and demeanour, their self-perception of their role and the way they are regarded by others and the extent to which they feel valued. No matter what attempts are made to move significantly towards widening participation, all will come to nought unless there are radical rearrangements in the conditions of service for men and women who work in this field as well as in the institutions themselves. It is no good pleading for flexibility in curriculum, place and time where it is offered,

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Making Sense of Lifelong Learning: Respecting the Needs of All
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - Lifelong Learning 5
  • Chapter 3 - Evolving Practice of Lifelong Learning 16
  • Chapter 4 - Catching Up 53
  • Chapter 5 - Motivational Mismatches for Lifelong Learning 69
  • Chapter 6 - Towards Wider Participation 95
  • Chapter 7 - Widening Participation - Doing It 128
  • Chapter 8 - Postscript 156
  • References 160
  • Index 163
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