A new vision for adult education

Summer 2019
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.72.07.2019

Adult education is profoundly political: historically, it has enabled access to education for those who would otherwise have been excluded, and it has played an important role in the development of a democratic politics. The austerity years have led to the erosion of access to education for working-class people, as higher education has become increasingly selective, mono-cultural and elitist, and Further Education has been seriously affected by funding cuts. The author argues, instead, for a revived vision for this sector, and a return to a broader conception of adult education - of the kind that was envisioned by the 1919 government Report on Adult Education, which is currently being revisited by the Adult Education 100 initiative. Civic education, in particular, is under threat today, but it is the kind of education that is most urgently needed.

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