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Comparative adult education : Issues and challenges with particular reference to Britain and Germany.

Arthur, Eleonore. (2000) Comparative adult education : Issues and challenges with particular reference to Britain and Germany. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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This thesis begins with my own bicultural experiences in the context of adult education and language teaching and examines current issues in comparative adult education in light of the challenges imposed by increasing globalisation and lifelong learning. The first chapter ends with research questions about the validity of comparative adult education given that hitherto theoretical approaches have, it seems, ceased to be part of scholarly debates in adult continuing education. The following chapter proceeds to explore research methods appropriate to this study, which are based on approaches in phenomenology and constructivism, and which are explored further in chapter 8 in the context of comparative adult education. The study then seeks to challenge the appropriacy of comparing systems of adult education within the positivist paradigm which, it is argued, has stifled debates and not enabled alternative approaches to develop. Furthermore, it is argued that bounded concepts of nation states and national characteristics are no longer relevant in the context of a multicultural and multilingual Europe. Adult educators are increasingly engaged in intercultural activities by taking part in professional networks and EU-sponsored programmes, computer-mediated or not (discussed in chapter 5). These activities demand skills in cross- and intercultural communication and, in comparative terms, an understanding of different cultural communities. Chapter 6, therefore, looks at the role of language and interculturality which, it is argued, are fundamental to comparative adult education. Issues in relation to lifelong learning are explored further in the subsequent chapter with regard to Germany and Britain and the respective historical, structural and cultural contexts. Chapter 8 argues that comparative adult education can only be meaningful if new meaning and knowledge are constructed on the basis of intercultural communication and shared comparative reflection. This chapter also outlines a new theoretical framework, which, it is proposed, is appropriate to comparative adult education in its contemporary post- or late modem context. The questions raised in opening chapter are answered in the final chapter with the conclusion that there is, after all, validity in undertaking research in comparative adult education and that it is an exciting and stimulating field of study.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Arthur, Eleonore.
Date : 2000
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:13
Last Modified : 15 Mar 2018 23:37

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