"You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till Its Gone’: The Decline and Marginalisation of Adult Education
This paper provides a short overview of characteristics frequently associated with adult education such as independence, informality, discovery and self-expression and provides a brief historical overview of some of the main developments. It is argued that the twentieth first century adult educational agenda is informed by narrow economic determinants with the short term aim of enhancing employment skills, pragmatism replacing aesthetics, which is in direct contrast to early pioneers who saw it as a movement towards enhancing democratic principles, a context for challenging hegemonic norms and as a process for self and societal enhancement. It is felt that such reductionism is a sad loss and reflects a new agenda of educational reductionism.
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