Overcoming Exclusion through Adult Learning

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

The phenomenon of social exclusion has become one of the outstanding problems on the eve of the 21st century. Even with the long-term trend towards rising general levels of affluence across OECD countries, large sections of our societies are missing out and for some prospects are getting worse. Learning -- in formal education and in a wide range of other community and enterprise settings -- represents one of the most important means of overcoming exclusion. While much is known about the impact of schooling for young people, the relationships between exclusion and adult learning are less well examined.

This study seeks to address this gap, focusing on 19 innovative learning initiatives that are making the difference in six countries: Belgium (Flemish Community), Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom (England). How well do these initiatives meet the learning needs of adults at risk of exclusion? How are they organised and what are their innovative features? These are the key questions answered, taking into account not only the point of view of the analysts, organisers and administrators, but also that of the adult learners themselves.

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