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Adult and community education in complex societies: reconsidering critical perspectives

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In this contribution, I explore how critical pedagogical perspectives can inspire adult and community education practices. The central argument is that today, in contrast with the heydays of emancipatory practices and theories, the classical critical approaches need reconsideration. The paper explores how these approaches sometimes have a stultifying effect on the participants in practice. In line with the French philosopher Rancière, a perspective is explored that departs from emancipated participants rather than from participants in need of emancipation. The theoretical investigation is inspired by reflections on art practices that struggle with similar questions on emancipation as the field of adult and community education.
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Keywords: adult education; art practices; community education; critical theory; emancipation; welfare society

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory for Education and Society – KU Leuven, Belgium

Publication date: November 2, 2014

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