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    Further Education Provision and Learning for Social Transformation. A case study of the experience of introducing a social change agenda into further education programmes within Vocational Education Committees


    Judge, Bernadette Nora (2005) Further Education Provision and Learning for Social Transformation. A case study of the experience of introducing a social change agenda into further education programmes within Vocational Education Committees. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    Further Education refers to education and training that occurs after second level schooling but is not part o f the third level system. (Ireland, 1995; Department of Education and Science, 2004b). It encompasses a complex and diverse range of provision involving a range o f players. Vocational Education Committees are the main providers of further education under the remit of the Department of Education and Science. Further education is situated within the european and national policy context for adult education, which demonstrates commitment to lifelong learning and social inclusion. The White Paper on Adult Education (Ireland, 2000) sets out a number o f priorities that together promote individual advancement and collective empowerment and promote an active role for all in shaping the direction of society. But the manner in which resources are allocated tells another story as the bulk of state funding is provided for programmes that meet employability and labour market objectives. This study explored the tensions explored experience by those working with and within VECs in inserting a social change agenda into further education programmes given the priority focus on economic competitiveness. It considered this against the transformative learning espoused by Freire, Mezirow and Habermas. The main research consisted of one-to-one interviews and a group interview using qualitative interviewing to draw out peoples’ feelings, thoughts and meanings. These were supported by a review of relevant literature and documents. The main research found a lack of consensus on concepts and meanings in relation to anything other than meeting labour market needs. The role of further education, educators and institutions was contested with respect to other functions such as promoting community action and social change. In conclusion, it suggests that VEC and community and voluntary interests need to reflect on their practice and how they can work towards a philosophical vision for further education that goes beyond meeting the labour market agenda. It especially calls for the implementation of structures promised in the White Paper on Adult Education to support the co-ordinated development of policy.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Further Education; Social Transformation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 5082
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2014 08:21
    URI:

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