Critical social theory, inclusion, and a pedagogy of hope
Considering the future of adult education and lifelong learning
Keywords: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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