Abstract

Understanding what motivates adult to engage in various learning endeavours across the lifespan often involves tracing multiple complicated and interconnected factors. Both formal and informal educational contexts determine how individuals will be politically involved through different stages in their lives. In a current study on lifelong learning, citizenship, and participation in community-based organizations in Canada, the possibilities and challenges of developing a more networked approach towards governance to support an active and engaged citizenry is explored. This study is funded by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) and builds on previously completed research around women’s lifelong learning trajectories in adult and higher education in Canada funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as a previous CCL study on life histories of women as active citizens. The findings reveal a complex meshwork of factors that shape decisions around participation in both formal and informal learning contexts to become “active citizens”. Differing perspectives are explored around the role of government, community-based organizations (CBO’s), and volunteer participation as these relate to governance. Critical discourses in citizenship are used to explore how localized factors are often influenced by the effects of globalization and neoliberalism.

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May 28th, 9:50 AM

Adult Learning for Active Citizenship: Exploring Learning Pathways around Citizenship and Participation in Community Organizations and Governance

Understanding what motivates adult to engage in various learning endeavours across the lifespan often involves tracing multiple complicated and interconnected factors. Both formal and informal educational contexts determine how individuals will be politically involved through different stages in their lives. In a current study on lifelong learning, citizenship, and participation in community-based organizations in Canada, the possibilities and challenges of developing a more networked approach towards governance to support an active and engaged citizenry is explored. This study is funded by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) and builds on previously completed research around women’s lifelong learning trajectories in adult and higher education in Canada funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, as well as a previous CCL study on life histories of women as active citizens. The findings reveal a complex meshwork of factors that shape decisions around participation in both formal and informal learning contexts to become “active citizens”. Differing perspectives are explored around the role of government, community-based organizations (CBO’s), and volunteer participation as these relate to governance. Critical discourses in citizenship are used to explore how localized factors are often influenced by the effects of globalization and neoliberalism.