Community education, a mirror and a shield

David Wallace

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference Contribution

    Abstract

    The principles underpinning community education offer both a mirror on society and a shield against appropriation and co-option. However, for some time there have been concerns about the loss of community education and its influences in Scottish discourse, policy and in practice. These concerns have been serially discussed with likeminded friends and colleagues in the field, with partners in research activity and with academic colleagues representing a fair cross section from the community education firmament. In these discussions a loss of principle is argued, there are observations that critical practices are being marginalised or eradicated and there is recognition of a growing co-option and corruption of practices to meet neoliberal ends over associational, democratic and empowering community education. Across domains of youth work, adult learning and community development ‘technologies’ (Martin, 1988) of policy, audit, inspection and challenge-funding are seen as instrumental in precipitating this deleterious trend. The mirror and the shield appear to be failing!
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4-8
    Number of pages5
    JournalThe Edinburgh Papers
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Fingerprint

    community
    education
    youth work
    community development
    audit
    corruption
    funding
    discourse
    trend
    learning
    time
    Society

    Keywords

    • community education
    • society
    • education
    • adult learning

    Cite this

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    Community education, a mirror and a shield. / Wallace, David.

    In: The Edinburgh Papers, 2008, p. 4-8.

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference Contribution

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    AB - The principles underpinning community education offer both a mirror on society and a shield against appropriation and co-option. However, for some time there have been concerns about the loss of community education and its influences in Scottish discourse, policy and in practice. These concerns have been serially discussed with likeminded friends and colleagues in the field, with partners in research activity and with academic colleagues representing a fair cross section from the community education firmament. In these discussions a loss of principle is argued, there are observations that critical practices are being marginalised or eradicated and there is recognition of a growing co-option and corruption of practices to meet neoliberal ends over associational, democratic and empowering community education. Across domains of youth work, adult learning and community development ‘technologies’ (Martin, 1988) of policy, audit, inspection and challenge-funding are seen as instrumental in precipitating this deleterious trend. The mirror and the shield appear to be failing!

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