The Advocates: Constructing Non-Formal Education
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NFE then, in its infancy, meant many things to many people. Coming as it did from within the deficit paradigm of development, there was no coherence yet behind the concept, just a series of vague, often overlapping or contradictory, perceptions of what was felt to be a newly identified field of activity. NFE could mean a system, a collection of organisations and programmes different from the formal education system. Or a process, with different teaching-learning relationships from those in formal education, a less hierarchical format. Or a concept, a subject worthy of study and writing about. Or yet a practice, a professional activity undertaken by people separate from formal education professionals. Or yet a set of educational activities distinguished from formal education by having different goals or purposes, or even separated from formal schooling by being socially purposeful, part of the radical social transformation movement.
It was this last strand which made the first move to bring some measure of coherence to this confusion.
KeywordsFormal Education Formal System Educational Activity Adult Education Formal Schooling
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