Recovering Informal Learning

Lifelong Learning Book Series

Book 7
Springer Science & Business Media
1
Free sample

For too long, theories and practices of learning have been dominated by the requirements of formal learning. Quite simply this book seeks to persuade readers through philosophical argument and empirically grounded examples that the balance should be shifted back towards the informal. These arguments and examples are taken from informal learning in very diverse situations, such as in leisure activities, as a preparation for and as part of work, and as a means of surviving undesirable circumstances like dead-end jobs and incarceration. Informal learning can be fruitfully thought of as developing the capacity to make context sensitive judgments during ongoing practical involvements of a variety of kinds. Such involvements are necessarily indeterminate and opportunistic. Hence there is a major challenge to policy makers in shifting the balance towards informal learning without destroying the very things that are desirable about informal learning and indeed learning in general. The book has implications therefore for formal learning too and the way that teaching might proceed within formally constituted educational institutions such as schools and colleges.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
May 23, 2007
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781402053467
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Counseling / Career Development
Education / Educational Policy & Reform / General
Education / Educational Psychology
Education / General
Education / Philosophy, Theory & Social Aspects
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / General
Education / Vocational
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This work is concerned with appraising the contemporary ethical impact of lifelong learning ideology and advocacy on education, through focusing on trends in educational policy and management that flow from the ideology. It has its origins in the author's concern that many of those trends are being defmed and promoted, or opposed, without an adequate understanding of their ethical dimensions. The 21 trends examined in this work are seen as defming important dimensions of the quite radical changes in educational policy and management that are flowing from the practical realisation of lifelong learning ideology and advocacy. In here evaluating those trends from an ethical perspective, the thesis is developed that they lead inevitably to distinctive ethical dilemmas or tensions in the lived experience of educational participants. The dilemmas, though, are not seen as realities that can intelligently be either avoided or resolved. They are, rather, inescapable features of the trends, although they and the experience of them may be managed intelligently to a greater or lesser extent. This analysis is premised on the belief that an understanding of the dilemmas may be of practical value in assisting educators, and policy makers and managers, to live and work more intelligently with them and to better manage the educational changes that are defmed by the trends. It may thereby contribute to moderating the excesses, sillinesses, and inanities so often evident in the directing and managing of refonns associated with the trends and to reduce the anguish and pain associated with them.
Why we need to stop wasting public funds on education

Despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative—education is grossly overrated. In this explosive book, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity—in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy.

Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knowledge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society's top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers.

Romantic notions about education being "good for the soul" must yield to careful research and common sense—The Case against Education points the way.

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