ALA commentaries on adult learning and community education

Adult Learning Australia (ALA) has posted a number of short, thought-provoking opinion pieces that tackle contemporary issues in adult learning, lifelong learning and community education. The authors offer diverse points of view from differing social, economic, political and cultural perspectives.

A message from The Hon Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Minister for Education and Training, which commits Labor to an education system that will “have a strong, high quality adult and community education sector … to ensure no one gets left behind.”

Other posted ALA commentaries include:

Ged Kearney MP writes movingly of her sister with an intellectual disability, who would “never be independent or able to leave the family home”, but can, “thanks to education provided largely through familiar environments like Neighbourhood Houses”.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi believes “that guaranteeing universal greater access to adult education will help us build a just society and prepare for futures we have not yet imagined.”

Professor Barry Golding AM writes that neoliberal government policies have produced “the systematic hollowing out and destruction of public vocational education and training, as well as adult and community education,” reproducing and heightening existing inequalities.

Bruce McKenzie PSM writes an article on “Recalibrating adult education”.

Professor Leesa Wheelahan writes about how “CBT is a bad model of curriculum”.

CCA Comment

“These short articles by educational, political and community leaders are a welcome contribution to showing how adult and community education (ACE) contributes positively to Australian society, including the maintenance of our democracy,” said Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia (CCA).

“According to a recent seminar broadcast on ABC Radio National, essential structures to ensure democratic functioning include independent courts, independent media and civil society organisations. Australia’s not-for-profit adult and community education providers are a powerful complement to ‘civil society’, through our locally-focussed community development and community building. CCA’s members provide skills development that enable workforce participation, health and wellbeing, as well as opportunities for engagement and re-engagement in community activities. All of these lead to increased civic participation,” said Dr Perlgut.

“CCA commends the work by Adult Learning Australia that articulates how the ACE sector contributes to the improvement of Australian social, economic and cultural life.”

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