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Adult Skills Development: Demanding a ‘radical’ new approach?

Jowett, Alice (2015) Adult Skills Development: Demanding a ‘radical’ new approach? PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The 2012 UNESCO Global Monitoring Report on Skills Development refocused attention on the central importance of skills for development. Now on the cusp of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, which are set to include skills development and lifelong learning goals, there has never been a more important time to investigate whether a ‘radical’ new approach is required. Investigating adult learning participation through fieldwork at a conversational English skills development programme in Cambodia, this thesis argues that the current largely individualistic and productivist approaches to skills development are inconsistent with the reality of learners’ lives. Multiple purposes for learning participation beyond the productivist orthodoxy are identified and household members are found to play a key and central role in both influencing learning participation, and as beneficiaries of learning outcomes. The influence of individuals’ past experiences, and those of their household members, was also evident. In light of these findings, the thesis argues for a ‘radical’ new approach to adult skills development and lifelong learning based on the capability approach (Sen, 1999) and experiential learning (Kolb, 1984). The thesis further contributes to the literature on household strategies for learning participation, moving beyond the typical one-way inter-generational conception of parents facilitating or inhibiting the learning participation of children. Household strategies are identified as being two-way and both inter- and intra- generational in nature, with a particular emphasis on older siblings supporting the learning of younger siblings. A new way of conceptualising how learning outcomes are shared within households is also offered, and the terms ‘effective functionings’ and ‘proximate functionings’ are coined, based and building on Basu and Foster (1998). Together these findings both identify the need for, and offer the means to achieve, a ‘radical’ new approach to adult skills development and lifelong learning.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Adult Skills Development, Lifelong Learning, Capability Approach, Experiential Learning, Functionings, Capabilities, Participation, Outcomes, Households, Cambodia, English Language Learning, VET, TVET
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds) > Centre for Development Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.651240
Depositing User: Dr Alice Jowett
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 13:52
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9028

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