The Politics of Nonformal Education in Latin America

By Carlos Alberto Torres | Go to book overview

8
THE POLITICS OF NONFORMAL EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

This book is more a research program than a research report. The strategy adopted is to give each chapter a life of its own instead of its being tied to the overall logical sequence and structure of the book. In many respects, this strategy reflects the way this book has been written: as a series of progressive reports of my ongoing research agenda, which is far from being completed. However, this strategy also will account, on occasions, for some recapitulation of concepts while organizing a theoretical or historical background for each of the chapters. If there is any slight repetition, the gains, I think, outnumber the losses. Overall, there is a coherent argument informing the different chapters while each individual chapter, or a selection thereof, can be used for different purposes in policy planning, research, and teaching. A comprehensive analysis and application of the research model outlined here, but with a lesser degree of generalization allowing for empirical investigation, can be found in Morales- Gómez and Torres ( 1990).

The theoretical perspective in understanding the politics of nonformal education is based on a political sociology informed by political economy analyses. The relationship between state theory and adult education policies has a prominent role in the theoretical framework of this study. Basically, it is argued that without a consistent theory of the state and politics, it win be impossible to understand the politics of nonformal education and nonformal education as politics in Latin America, and in the industrialized world as well ( Block, 1987: 3-35). In this regard, Martin Carnoy's preface set the stage for a discussion of adult education and social policy, with a focus on the state.

If there is any merit in this book, it is the attempt to single out the process of policy formation in adult education as a specific field for educational research and participatory policy planning. In so doing, many theoretical aspects are

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