The Developmental State and the Dalit Question: Congress Response
by Sudha Pai (9780415563130)

The Developmental State and the Dalit Question: Congress Response
Sudha Pai
Release Date: 01 March 2012
Format: Hardback
Pages: 554
Categories: Civics
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISBN: 9780415563130
ISBN-10: 0415563135

Lifelong learning has become a mantra, but what does learning mean and do in the lives of adults? How has it changed over time and across generations? What are the connections with the changing worlds of work, the family and communities? What difference does it make to life chances? How do we learn from life, and how do we learn for life? How can people's prospects of learning be improved?

The Learning Lives project was one of the largest and most ambitious in the Teaching and Learning Research Programme as over three years the authors tracked the lives of 120 adults from across Britain, undertaking 528 in-depth interviews to ask people about their life histories and the place of learning in their lives. Alongside this data from the British Household Panel Study, a nationally representative survey of about 5,000 households was applied which results in a uniquely rich and detailed body of evidence, certainly within the UK, and arguably internationally.

The central conclusion is that learning 'means and does' much more in people's lives than is acknowledged in current policies in Britain and Europe. These policies focus on the economic functions of lifelong learning. By contrast, the findings show not only that learning is multi-faceted and complex; they also show how learning helps people to strengthen and develop their sense of self, and assume a greater degree of control over their lives. They also show that people value the experience of learning in relation to their everyday lives and in order to adjust to changing circumstances. And they demonstrate that people's learning horizons - that is, their ability to imagine themselves learning for a different future - are bounded both by individual characteristics and by situational and structural factors. Strategies for improving learning therefore need to vary to meet different needs and circumstances.

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