Critical social theory, inclusion, and a pedagogy of hope

Considering the future of adult education and lifelong learning




inclusion, critical social theory, adult education, pedagogy of hope, multiliteracies


In recent years, issues of inclusion within the field of adult education have garnered increasing attention and have expanded to consider various equity and social justice concerns. Frequently, however, these concerns are considered in a piecemeal fashion, either with a narrower focus on a particular equity issue, or as a simplified add-on to wider debates about educational design, delivery modes, or policy structures. To deepen the discussion around inclusion in lifelong learning, it is important to draw upon critical social theory to explore not only particular circumstances and challenges faced by different groups seeking equity and inclusion, but also to consider the broader frameworks in which adult teaching and learning happens. Despite challenges such as neoliberalism, adult educators need to retain Freire’s belief in the possibilities offered by a pedagogy of hope and the belief that humans have the capacity to make positive changes.


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Author Biography

Susan Holloway, University of Windsor

Susan M. Holloway is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, Canada. Her research focuses on literacy, multiliteracies, critical and feminist theory, adult education, and socio-cultural approaches to second language acquisition. 


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How to Cite

Gouthro, P., & Holloway, S. (2023). Critical social theory, inclusion, and a pedagogy of hope: Considering the future of adult education and lifelong learning. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 14(3), 325–341.