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Youth and lifelong education: after-school programmes as a vital component of lifelong education infrastructure

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This paper argues that after-school programmes need to be considered an essential part of lifelong learning infrastructure, particularly in light of the dominance of the economic discourse in both lifelong learning literature and the initial schooling literature. The paper, which is based upon existing literature, begins by providing an overview of after-school programmes, including their historical development. This is followed by an examination of the changing discourse in the lifelong learning literature and the initial school literature. The argument is made that the narrowing of lifelong learning and initial schooling perspectives represented by economic determinism leads to an increase in those on the margins. The youth development literature is then reviewed with a focus on positive youth development, arguing that after-school programmes with a positive youth development focus can meet the needs of those disengaged youth who are marginalised by the formal educational system. The Fusion Youth and Technology Centre is then presented as an illustrative case of an after-school programme that has a positive youth development focus. This is followed by a discussion of after-school programmes and the role they can play as part of the lifelong learning infrastructure.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: SEDRD, University of Guelph, Canada.

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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