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ERIC Number: EJ899799
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
All We Are Able to Be
Fryer, Bob
Adults Learning, v21 n2 p18-20 Oct 2009
One of the nine key themes around which the Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning organised its discussions was citizenship and belonging. This was hardly surprising. Apart from the well-known, long-standing and, often, mutually beneficial relationship between education and citizenship--including, especially, learning's hopeful contribution to emancipation--there has been, over the past 20 years or so, markedly increased interest in the question of citizenship and its possible forms and functions in late modern society, and in its implications for public policy. The Inquiry Commission drew inspiration from Nussbaum and, in particular, from Sen in defining four broad, overlapping capabilities--civic, health, financial and digital--which could form the basis of a citizens' curriculum; a common framework aimed at increasing people's autonomy. The Commission selected capabilities that they believed would "enhance people's ability to exercise a degree of control over their own lives; to take part with others in decisions that affect the context of their lives; and to envisage alternative futures for themselves and their families". Capabilities, it was agreed, are "combinations of doings and beings" that a person might achieve, even if they have not yet done so. Learning is the means of converting potential into actual. One of the reasons for drawing on capability as a notion is that it obliges us to take a step back, to take into account the potential as well as the actual, and to face up to the challenge of recurrently uncovering and developing further potential. This, the Commission believes, is the best way of raising our game, individually and collectively.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom