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Lifeline work: community-based adult learning and learners' personal progression

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Abstract:

This paper explores learner progression for participants in community-based adult learning (CBAL) provision in Scotland. It focuses on learners' perceptions of progression drawn from analysis of life history interviews carried out with ten adults who had participated in community-based adult learning. The analysis of data was undertaken in three stages in order to construct the meaning of progression from the learners' points of view. Progression had diverse meanings for the learners in this study, and the findings show that participation in CBAL contributed to forms of economic, educational, social and personal progression by supporting learners towards their goals. Furthermore, progression was closely connected to the learners' individual circumstances. In this paper community-based adult learning is characterised as a potential 'lifeline' that supports progression and is integral to learners' lives. This view of CBAL draws attention to the need to take account of learners' life histories as we seek to identify and support progression.

Keywords: COMMUNITY-BASED ADULT LEARNING; INFORMAL LEARNING; LIFE HISTORY; LIFELINE; PROGRESSION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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