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Finding the horseshoe nail: Colonization, de-colonoization and counter-colonization in Adult and Community Education.
Beare, Clodagh Mary
As the ‘Occupy’ camps have sprung up around the world, there has been a growing understanding of neo-liberalism as a hegemonic global political discourse in which the values of the market have come to dominate all aspects of human endeavour. At the same time, concerns have been expressed about the colonization of community education by neo-liberalism. As a traditionally process-oriented, non-formal learning experience, influenced by the ideas of Paolo Freire, and concerned with concepts such as social justice and combating marginalization, community education has increasingly been influenced by the values of the market place. These neo-liberal values have been apparent in a greatly increased emphasis on accreditation, outputs, and regulation, as well as greater emphasis on training for the workplace, rather than helping the learner to ‘read their world’ and challenge oppressive structures. This thesis argues that when considering the colonization of the sector, it is equally important to consider the tutor, as the person working most closely with the learners. This thesis therefore sets out to ask the question: ‘What is the impact of neo-liberalism on tutors whose value systems are shaped by the traditional ethos of community education?’ Using Habermas’ concepts of the public sphere, the colonization of the lifeworld by the system and the pathologies that arise when it is colonized, as well as Freirean concepts of resistance and oppositional practice, this thesis uses Critical Theory to identify that tutors are experiencing an attempted colonization of their own professional lifeworld, with symptoms akin to Habermas’ pathologies as well as reports of isolation, marginalization, and the experience of the effects of hegemonic power. It is those tutors who manage to identify sites of oppositional practice within the accreditation system who seem to be able to resist the iv colonization of their professional lifeworld. By using the neo-liberal accreditation system to express their own values, I suggest they are, in fact, counter-colonizing the system. The remaining tutors are attempting to de-colonize their learners’ lifeworlds, but at a high price, as their own professional lifeworld is colonized. I conclude by arguing that any consideration of the colonization of the sector as a whole must taken into account the colonization of the tutors’ professional lifeworld, and join Inglis (1997) in calling for a pedagogy of power, but one that incorporates an understanding of the systemically marginalized status of the tutor.
Keyword(s): Colonization; de-colonoization; counter-colonization; education; adult education; community education; M. Ed. in Adult and Community Education; M.Ed.
Publication Date:
2012
Type: Master thesis (research)
Peer-Reviewed: No
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Beare, Clodagh Mary (2012) Finding the horseshoe nail: Colonization, de-colonoization and counter-colonization in Adult and Community Education. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
File Format(s): other
Related Link(s): http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/9600/1/Clodagh%20Beare%20MEd%20final.pdf
First Indexed: 2018-06-29 06:17:28 Last Updated: 2018-06-29 06:17:28