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Bits of baggage and wanderers' tales: Towards the construction of a new theoretical framework for comparative adult education

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Abstract:

This article arises out of the desire to make sense of my own life experiences, on the one hand, and to place such experiences into a meaningful conceptual framework appropriate to comparative adult education, on the other. I, in common with many networkers in adult education, have travelled in various modalities, and collected, more or less indiscriminately,bits of 'international' baggage, sometimes, but not always, with an appreciation of the contexts from which they were wrenched (Hake and Marriott, 1992). The more I 'travel' and experience, the more I am aware of the multifarious strands and layers that mesh into and out of what is commonly understood as 'culture' in the context of other countries and communities. Giddens' (1990, p 8) reference to the 'embedding' and 'disembedding' into or from the local context, both in terms of time and space, comes to mind. Harvey (1989, p 286) points to the volatility with which we have to learn to live. He encourages us to look for deeper meanings and hence pay attention to localities and specificities. Heeding his words, we should attend to our 'baggage' and ensure that the 'wandering' becomes less aimless, more focused and critically aware.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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