Learning for employability? Ideas to reassert a critical education practice in communities
|Abstract||This article explores the cause and effects of the increased policy emphasis on work to support employability within the field of Adult and Community Education in Scotland. This exploration is conducted from a critical ...
This article explores the cause and effects of the increased policy emphasis on work to support employability within the field of Adult and Community Education in Scotland. This exploration is conducted from a critical perspective to demonstrate how Neo-liberalism and New Manageri¬alism are reshaping the purpose and practice of Adult and Community Edu¬cation and shifting its emphasis from “learning to be” to “learning to earn”. The way employability work is conceptualised will be critically examined to reveal how it can cut across what are perceived to be some of the core values and ethical commitments of Community Education such as empowerment, dialogue, and social constructivist approaches to knowledge and curriculum development. The concepts of hegemony and governmentality will be drawn on to reveal how practitioners are being shaped and disciplined by these neo liberal times and the accompanying technical rationality, potentially result¬ing in the contradictory situation in which practitioners become answerable to two masters, one representing the logic of the market, and the other, the values and ethics of the profession. So to we shall conclude by arguing that Community and Adult educators need to develop a critical awareness of the effects of neo liberalism on education policy and practice so they can help people become aware of their agency and encourage their active contribute to the transformation of their social world based on their own interests, rather than working to adapt people to fit passively and uncritically into this existing unequal one.