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Riding the waves of policy? The case of basic skills in adult and community learning in England

Hodgson, Ann and Edward, Sheila and Gregson, Maggie (2007) Riding the waves of policy? The case of basic skills in adult and community learning in England. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 59 (2). pp. 213-229. ISSN 1363-6820

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Abstract

This paper draws on data from secondary sources and in-depth interviews to explore the question: What is the impact of policy on teaching, learning, assessment and inclusion in Adult and Community Learning (ACL) Skills for Life (SfL) provision? In particular, it focuses on the government’s use of five policy steering mechanisms - funding, inspection, planning, targets and policy initiatives (in this case SfL). The design of the study1 allows us to use evidence from four sets of interviews with teachers, learners and managers of ACL in eight sites of learning (four in London and four in the North East) over a period of twenty-six months of considerable policy turbulence. We argue first, that there is a symbiotic relationship between ACL and SfL provision and second, that while the combined effects of targets and funding have the most powerful effects on tutor and manager actions, inspection, planning and tutors’ and managers’ own professional values also have an important role in shaping the teaching of literacy and numeracy in ACL sites. We conclude by suggesting that professionals at the local level should be allowed to play a greater role in SfL policy-making to ensure effective policy and practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Hodgson, Ann and Edward, Sheila and Gregson, Maggie (2007) Riding the waves of policy? The case of basic skills in adult and community learning in England. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 59 (2). pp. 213-229. journal]. Journal of Vocational Education and Training is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/13636820701342913
Controlled Keywords: Effectiveness of further and higher education , Adult education institution , Educational reform
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Continuing and Professional Education
IOE Departments > Departments > Lifelong and Comparative Education
IOE Departments > Departments > Education and International Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2010 12:33
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:55
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/1515

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