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Lifelong learning in the UK: the need for adult citizenship education

Shah, Q; (2020) Lifelong learning in the UK: the need for adult citizenship education. Revista Internacional de Educação de Jovens e Adultos , 3 (5) pp. 18-35. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper explores the purpose of adult education with reference to the UK, and in particular England where there has been significant change since the 1980s. It is argued that the social purpose of adult education that existed prior to the 1980s has been undermined by successive governments under a learning economy hegemony, premised upon an economic imperative. A decade of austerity has resulted in adult education being severely underfunded, which it is argued has affected the most marginalized and vulnerable in society: those who need education the most as their only route to social mobility and social contact. The paper highlights the benefits of basic skills and non-formal courses not only in terms of economic benefit but also of individual well-being. However, for true emancipation it argues for the teaching of Citizenship Education (CE); only by being politically literate can one be cognizant of one’s rights, and demand them, in addition to engaging in active civic participation. Unfortunately, in the UK, CE is only available to children in compulsory education and for immigrants, which leaves many native adults without any. The consequences for political literacy, social mobility, and economic and social wellbeing are considerable. CE it is argued is vital for sustaining democracy

Type: Article
Title: Lifelong learning in the UK: the need for adult citizenship education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.revistas.uneb.br/index.php/rieja/artic...
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Keywords: Citizenship education. Adult education. Democracy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109799
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