University of Joensuu, Finland
May 19-22, 2005
'Lifelong learning for all' and 'Competencies for all' are well-known goals used in educational policy discourse, especially in the context of adult education. The rapid changes taking place in society are understood to cause new situations that call for learning and demand new skills. To acquire such new skills and to adapt to new situations and challenges, both at work and in everyday life, learning is needed.
Research shows how engagement in education and active participation in civil society tend to be socially stratified, increasing the widening differences and polarisation in today's society. As a result, our awareness of the widening differences and polarisation in today's society is increasing. While there is evidence that education can do much to reduce the effects of social and economic exclusion, it is also true that some aspects of educational systems, policies and practices impede wider participation in learning and reinforce social and civic marginalisation among certain groups.
Theme and Objectives of the Conference
The theme of the Conference is At the Margins of Adult Education, Work and Civil Society. Rather than focusing on active participants and active participation, the objective is to scrutinize the whole adult population in terms of participation, and to pay special attention to those who are so easily left out of studies concerning adult education, learning at work or active participation in civil society. The aim of the Conference is to bring into the discussion the views of those who do not find attending adult education possible and who thus form a challenge for the promotion of active citizenship. The Conference seeks to function as a place where researchers with cross-disciplinary interests in adult education and marginalisation can meet and interact with others from their own disciplines and beyond. One of the goals of the Conference is to provide an opportunity for academics and professionals from various fields to come together and learn from each other.
The objectives of the Conference are:
- to pay attention to the issue of participation vs. non-participation
- to focus on those sections of the adult population that are easily excluded from research dealing with active participation in learning or active citizenship, i.e., those whose participation in adult education and other activities in civil society is marginal or non-existent
- to consider the challenges that non-participation/low participation poses for research and planning
- to discuss the relationship between marginalisation and (non)participation in education and learning