Reclaiming conceptual frameworks
DOI link for Reclaiming conceptual frameworks
Reclaiming conceptual frameworks book
The chapter will critically review ‘the field’ of lifelong learning as it is currently presented in both policy documents and academic literature. We will argue that in the main ‘the field’ is described as though it is neutral, ahistorical and uncontestable, with little account given of a wide range of different histories and competing ‘fields’, including those of adult and continuing education, community based learning, and the personal and political learning that takes place in, for example, trades unions, women’s groups, or groups for other marginalised people, such as gay and lesbian groups, Black and minority ethnic groups and so forth. ‘The field’ as it is currently described assumes a particular history, tells a particular story, without acknowledging, or maybe even recognising, that there are multiple possibilities and analyses. We argue that ‘the field’ is un(der)theorised, and draw on feminist and post-structural analyses to examine the different and competing conceptual frameworks that are currently available, and to consider the ways that these constrain or open up opportunities for lifelong learning. We identify some of the key discourses in current writings on lifelong learning and consider the ways that these might contribute to exclusionary or inclusive practices within postcompulsory education and informal learning.