Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Monday, April 27, 2009

places to learn - coming soon?

Hey Wendell. Hey Nancy. Hey Bonnie. Hey everybody. Places to learn!!!!

In 1998, when the UK Labour party was less than a year into it's current 12 year run of electoral success, David Blunkett, then the education secretary, wrote The Learning Age green paper.

As well as securing our economic future, learning has a wider contribution. It helps make ours a civilised society, develops the spiritual side of our lives and promotes active citizenship ... It helps us fulfil our potential, and opens doors to a love of music, art and literature. That is why we value learning for its own sake as well as for the equality of opportunity it brings.

It was a great paper, but nothing happened until last month when John Denham, the secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills, issued an adult learning white paper called The Learning Revolution.

The white paper announces £20m of new money. This "transformational fund" will invest in "innovative new approaches to reach and engage new learners".

People who want to organise their own groups and classes will be supported by a new national campaign for learning, Government announced today. Public and private buildings all over the country will throw open their doors to learners in the evening and weekends, from pubs, shops, cafes and churches to workplaces, libraries and galleries. The buildings will be identified by the new "Learning Revolution" logo and at least 7,000 rooms will be available, with the number expected to grow.

Learning in all its many forms improves our quality of life, happiness and personal wellbeing. While improving people’s skills is one of the most powerful things they can do to realise their career aspirations, we recognise the importance of learning for pleasure and the enormous contribution it makes to the well-being of individuals, neighbourhoods and wider society.

Over the past few years, there has been a quiet learning revolution, but the Government wants to ignite this, raising the profile and take-up of learning wherever it happens, so that all adults and communities can benefit from high-quality, innovative learning that is accessible to all.

It all seems a little more back-to-the-future than revolutionary, but who in these parts really wants a revolution anyway. I will gladly forgive them the hyperbole, plus all the sins of Skills for Life, if they make this work. Or better yet, just let this work.

Wouldn't it be nice to hear something similar from any of our governments? If anyone knows of anything along these lines happening anywhere in Canada, please let us know.

Thanks to Nancy Jackson for telling us about this exciting development.

Guardian Article >>
Wanted: a learning revolution

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) response >>
Realising The Learning Revolution

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