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ERIC Number: EJ830929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1359-6748
Choosing to Learn or Chosen to Learn: The Experience of "Skills for Life" Learners
O'Grady, Anne; Atkin, Chris
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, v11 n3 p277-287 Oct 2006
It has been estimated that as many as one in five adults in England have difficulties with literacy or numeracy skills. Raising the standards of language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills amongst all adults of working age in England has become one of the government's highest priorities. Following the launch of the "Skills for Life" strategy in England, adults with poor LLN skills were targeted to attend training provision to upgrade their skills. As a result of the strategy, some identified target groups, i.e. the unemployed and benefit claimants, have found that receipt of benefits has had "conditionality" attached to it; that is, they are required to undertake activities, including training, in order to maintain welfare benefits. Whilst resistance is often associated with motivation, this paper argues that making attendance at training provision a "conditionality" of receipt of welfare benefits is unlikely to result in an increase in an adult's LLN skills. We argue that whilst attendance at training provision can be increased through the use of such sanctioning interventions, this negative intervention does not result in a learner engaging in the training activities. There is a distinct difference between attending training programmes and engaging with training provision. Using the conceptual framework provided by Pierre Bourdieu's discussion of reproduction in culture, society and education, we argue that the "Skills for Life" strategy is being used as an apparatus of symbolic violence; being legitimised through misrecognition.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)