Not just petrol heads

Men's learning in the community through participation in motor sports


  • Barry Golding University of Ballarat, Australia



Motor sports, men's learning, community, men's sheds


This paper examines the learning experienced through participation by men in two quite different two motor sports organisations in Western Australia. It relies on interview data from volunteers about what they do and what they learn as a consequence of their participation in staging complex but safe, competitive, public events. The paper provides evidence of a deep well of learning and wide range of skills produced as a consequence of participation. This learning would rarely be recognised as education or training, illustrating the need for caution when concluding that adult education is not taking place and learning outcomes are not being achieved other than through courses where teaching occurs, or in contexts that are regarded as literary. What men skills men learnt, though significant as outcomes, were not the object of the motor sport activity, supporting Biesta's (2006) view that the amassing of knowledge and skills can be achieved in other valuable ways aside from through education.


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How to Cite

Golding, B. (2011). Not just petrol heads: Men’s learning in the community through participation in motor sports. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 2(2), 165–180.