Age, Education and the Production of Knowledge
Routledge – 2013 – 208 pages
This is the first research-based book-length English language study of intergenerational learning. Here the authors define intergenerational learning broadly, as the migration of knowledge and skills between different generations across the life course. This is an important topic for education researchers, who are increasingly recognising the vital role played by family and other social connections in determining attainment. Intergenerational learning has also risen high on the policy agenda, as governments and institutions try to improve education outcomes against a background of budget reductions. There is also a wider media and public interest in how the life styles and values of different generations are seemingly leading to a general process of ‘dumbing down’.
These are complex and exciting issues, and the book seeks to explore them through new perspectives on learning and generational experiences. Probing the complexity of knowledge migration, it highlights the ways in which education and learning influence identities and interact with major social, economic and cultural changes, emphasising the multidirectional nature of life course change. The book explores the intersection of learning and knowledge migration with social and cultural influences, such as gender, race and class. It challenges the dominant models of expertise, which are based on a dated view of knowledge and skills as ‘things’ that are invariably ‘acquired’ by younger novices from older and more expert practitioners. It focuses instead on how learning cultures are (re)produced and changed within generations. It examines how changes occur when cultural practices and meanings are produced, migrate and are absorbed or resisted by generational groups. And it sets out a theoretical basis for future work in what has hitherto been a largely untheorised area.
This will be the first major study to explore these issues in a thorough and scholarly manner. The volume is based in part on an in depth study of the learning biographies of some thirty adults, conducted as part of the ESRC funded project Learning Lives, supplemented by a strong overview of existing research and an informed perspective on the wider context of intergenerational learning. While the primary research is based in the UK, the authors are involved in a number of transnational networks on igenerations and learning, and are well-placed to engage with key international debates.
Chapter 1: Introduction: the family, generations, and education
Chapter 2: Life histories and the study of generations
Chapter 3: Family learning: generations and gender
Chapter 4: Rebellious generations: sex and (changed) societies
Chapter 5: Second generations: the family, displacement and relocation
Chapter 6: Imagined generations: changing lives and new futures
Chapter 7: Inter-generational practices: critical perspectives
John Field is Professor of Lifelong Learning at the University of Stirling. Previously he was a Professor and Chair of Department at the University of Warwick. He is an established researcher in sociological approaches to the life course and learning. He served on RAE panels in 2001 and 2008, was seconded to the Government Office for Science’s Foresight project on Wellbeing and Mental Capital in 2008-2009, and has served two periods as Stirling’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for research. His books include:
Social Capital, Routledge 2003; 2nd edn 2008, Italian edn 2004.
Lifelong Learning and the New Educational Order, Trentham, 2000; 2nd edn 2006, Japanese edn 2005.
Social Capital and Lifelong Learning, Policy Press, 2005
Improving Learning through the Life Course (with G Biesta, P Hodkinson, F Macleod and I Goodson), Routledge, due to appear March 2011
Researching Transitions in Lifelong Learning (edited with J Gallacher and R Ingram), Routledge, 2009
Mental Capital and Wellbeing (edited with C Cooper, U Goswami, R Jenkins and B Sahakhian), Wiley-Blackwell, 2010
Sage Handbook on Aging, Work and Society (edited with R Burke and C Cooper), Sage, due to appear November 2011
He has published over seventy papers in refereed journals as well as a large number of chapters and published conference papers.
Heather Lynch is the research and development manager of the ‘Centre for Community Practice’ – A knowledge exchange initiative developed by Strathclyde University Schools of Architecture and Sociology and Govanhill Baths Community Trust. In this role she is responsible for research development and a programme of community based learning. She was previously a Research Fellow in the Stirling Institute of Education. She has published in refereed and practitioner journals in lifelong learning, creativity and social inclusion. Her publications include:
Govanhill: A map of assets, Oxfam, 2010
The Art of Collaboration, VDM Verlag, 2009
Lifelong Learning, Policy and Desire, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 2008
Target Practice; Youth and social inclusion, International Journal of Arts and Education, 2007
Irene Malcolm is Lecturer in Education in the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education at the University of Dundee where she teaches Educational and Social Research on the Masters in Applied Professional Studies and also on the doctoral programmes. She was previously Lecturer in Lifelong Learning at the University of Stirling. Her publications include:
Gendered choices: learning, work, identities in lifelong learning (edited with S Jackson and K Thomas), Springer, 2011
VET identities in knowledge work: gender and learning in a globalising industry, in Falk, I., Catts, R. & Wallace, R. (Eds) Situated, Self-directed Knowing and Learning in VET, Springer, 2011
Identity and occupation in the new economy: learning in emotional labour and emotion work, in Walters, S. (ed) Learning/Work: Turning Work and Lifelong Learning Inside Out, Human Sciences Research Council Publishers (with J. Field), 2009
Talking about my generation: the role of historical time and generational time over the life course, in Osborne, M., Houston, M. and Toman, N. (eds) The Pedagogy of Lifelong Learning: Understanding effective teaching and learning, Routledge (with J Field). 2007