Political economy of adult learning systems: Comparative study of strategies, policies and constraints
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It is salutary, every now and again, for practitioners to stand back and look at their field from a distance, to see what they are doing and how effective they are at it. This is what Richard Desjardins seeks to do for adult educators in this book, and in this, he has achieved a great deal.
It is important to understand that the book looks at “Adult Learning Systems” (ALS), the provision of “organized learning opportunities … organized forms of learning” (p. 1); it does not look at adult education (AE) as process. Moreover, it is primarily focused on work-related adult education, although in its conclusions, it connects work-related AE to the other two main strands of AE, for personal self-fulfilment and for “active citizenship” (p. 253).
The book falls into three parts. Part I establishes the framework used in Part II, eight country case studies, and in Part III, a concluding analysis.
The first chapter sets out what Desjardins sees as the four main lenses through which ALS is...