Adult education for a change: Advocacy, learning festivals, migration, and the pursuit of equity and social justice
AbstractThis paper explores the characteristics of learning festivals and Adult Learners’ Weeks and their use as tools of advocacy in seeking policy change on behalf of under-represented groups, and it considers their impact on public policy affecting adult learners. In addition, it reflects on the role of the week in celebrating a culture of adult learning. The paper includes analysis of the relationship between the development of festivals and policy change affecting adult learners through Adult Learners’ Weeks in the United Kingdom after 1992, exploring, in particular, the role of the Week in affecting policy, participation, and inter-communal understanding arising from increased migration. The paper explores the spread of learning festivals and the sequence of Presidency conferences in the European Union in the years leading up to the Lisbon Memorandum in 2000; the role of festivals in the aftermath of war in the Balkans; and the role of the World Social Forum as an antidote to neo-liberal orthodoxies in international policy discussions. It also considers the success and failure of learning weeks as a tool of advocacy and policy change.
JournalJournal of Adult and Continuing Education
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