Beyond Rhetoric

Adult Learning Policies and Practices

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This publication aims to identify what works in the policy and practice of adult learning, drawing on the experience of nine OECD countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (England). It defines the features of a desirable system of adult learning, including ways to motivate adults to learn and methods to deliver appropriate services. This book will be indispensable to policy makers and those involved in the practice of adult learning.

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Adult learning has taken on a much higher profile in the last decade, as OECD economies and ageing societies are increasingly knowledge-based. High unemployment rates among the unskilled, the increased and recognised importance of human capital for economic growth and social development – together with public interest in improving social and personal development – make it necessary to increase learning opportunities for adults within the wider context of lifelong learning. Depending on the country and context, these opportunities may be related to employment, to the need for basic skills or upskilling, or may respond to social and civic preoccupations. At the same time however, there are strong inequities in terms of access and provision...

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