By Richard Edwards

Flexibility has turn into a critical notion in a lot coverage and educational debate. contributors, agencies and societies are all required to develop into extra versatile so as to perform the continued methods of swap concerned about lifelong studying. This ebook explores how the concept of a studying society has built over fresh years: the alterations that experience given upward push to the requirement for flexibility, and the replaced discourses and practices that experience emerged within the schooling and coaching of adults. With the expansion in curiosity in adults as inexperienced persons, (primarily to aid fiscal competitiveness), the closed box of grownup schooling has now been displaced by means of a extra open discourse of lifelong studying. This comprises not just altering practices reminiscent of relocating in the direction of open and distance-based studying, but additionally altering office identities. studying settings are for that reason altering areas in a couple of senses: they're areas within which humans switch; they're topic to alter; and they're altering to incorporate the house and office in addition to extra formal settings. This booklet takes an strangely serious point of view: it demanding situations modern tendencies, explores the uncertainties and ambivalences of the strategies of swap, and is suggestive of other types of engagement with them. it is going to end up a massive textual content for coverage makers, place of work running shoes and people operating within the box of grownup, extra and better schooling. Richard Edwards is presently a Senior Lecturer in publish obligatory schooling on the Open college.

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Second, I examine the impact of these changes on the boundaries which have been dominant in shaping the discourses and practices of adult education and lifelong learning (chapter 3). I argue that there has been a shift in discourses from a focus on inputs, on adult education and provision, towards one on outputs, on learning and the learner. This results from and in many boundaries starting to break down or become more permeable. As a field of practice, policy and study, adult education has been subject to processes of de-differentiation.

Place this alongside other economic policies, such as the creation of the Single European Market, which, Benington and Taylor (1993) comment, aims to foster competitiveness by removing ‘over-capacity’ in European Union industry, and other ‘free trade’ agreements, what are the implications and prospects for current and future labour market participants? Labour market flexibility may foster competitiveness, but on the basis of lowered conditions of employment and greater competition for the paid work that is available.

No doubt it will change the reading of this text and in the process change you. The writing of it certainly is changing me. Being able to make sense of these changes, to reflexively understand them, to act within and on them in developing opportunities for lifelong learning is a major challenge for policy-makers and workers in this terrain. A basic premise, therefore, in situating change as central to this text is that unless we are able to understand and shape change and the meanings of change – as continually ambivalent, contingent and uncertain rather than a process of overcoming uncertainty – our capacity to work Everything must change?

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