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ERIC Number: ED436663
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
How Emancipatory Is Adult Learning? Myths and Realities No. 6.
Imel, Susan
The goal of emancipatory learning is to free learners from the forces that limit their options and control their lives and to move them to act for social and political change. Although emancipatory learning is commonly associated with adulthood, not all adult education fosters it, and not all adult educators align themselves with perspectives that lead to emancipatory learning. Fostering emancipatory learning may bring adult educators in conflict with some prevailing beliefs about adult education, including the educational philosophy of andragogy. Among the theories from which adult educators draw to develop pedagogical practices that foster emancipatory learning are critical theory, feminist pedagogy, and poststructuralist theories. Critical examinations of practices underlying emancipatory learning have revealed that they do not always have the desired effect and that relationships between and among adult educators and students are not straightforward. The term "empowerment" is another issue related to emancipatory learning. Although empowerment can occur as part of emancipatory learning, it does so within the context of social and political transformation. Because of emancipatory learning's emphasis on social change, some have proposed that it is a collective activity. However, evidence exists that individuals can and do engage in emancipatory learning. (Contains 16 references.) (MN)
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Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.