“How can long-term purposes be pursued in a short-term society? How can durable social relations be sustained? How can a human being develop a narrative of identity and life history in a society composed of episodes and fragments?” (Sennett, 2007, p.26). And all of this across the various affiliations of adult life, both in the workplace and outside of it, as well as in the increasingly widespread settings of unemployment or casual, temporary work, etc... I have chosen to open this paper with a series of questions posed by Sennett (2007) that can guide us in exploring, at least briefly and partially, the complexity and problematic riskiness of the post-modern society we live in. It is against such an anthropological-cultural, political-institutional and socio-economic background, which represents one of the key themes of this conference, that I set out to reflect on the “state of the art” in education and training, and in particular, the education and training of today’s adults and young adults. Today, adult education is no longer associated with a given age group or life stage, due to the social and societal liquidity, as Bauman (1999; 2003) calls it, in which we are all immersed. From this perspective, we cannot avoid addressing the issue of adult education, which emerges as an urgent priority, in Italy at any rate, especially in relation to the political-educational decision-making and strategies of the relevant institutional actors. It seems that a possible, or rather, an objective and realistic direction for adult education to take is that leading to the delivery and implementation, on a vast scale, of adult education practices that might be viewed as excessively oriented towards adapting adults to existing circumstances, while losing sight of key dimensions such as contemporary adults’ relationship with knowledge (Alberici,1993) and of the meaning that they attribute to their own autobiographical journeys, characterised by continuity and dis-continuity, including in the educational/training sphere itself. A model of education that is essentially and excessively based on the transmission of knowledge is clearly in tune with overall political, economic and institutional needs, but, conversely, is at odds with the autobiographical paths of individual adults which, as a consequence of constant uncertainty, insecurity and feelings of inadequacy (Bauman, 1999; Beck, 1992, p.62), are increasingly on the brink of becoming what Beck defines as “risk biographies”, or even, “danger biographies” (1992, p.67). This suggests the potential value of a renewed emphasis on adult education offerings based on the “learning to think”, or even, “re-learning to think” first advocated by Donata Fabbri (1994, pp.127-134). Specifically, at this juncture in adult education, I make the case for adopting narrative-self-reflective-autobiographical educational dispositives.

Castiglioni, M. (2016). What kind of adult education is required in the risk society?. Intervento presentato a: International Conference: Continuity and Discontinuity in Learning Careers: Potentials for a Learning Space in a Changing World, Sevilla, Spain.

What kind of adult education is required in the risk society?

CASTIGLIONI, MICAELA DONATELLA
Primo
2016

Abstract

“How can long-term purposes be pursued in a short-term society? How can durable social relations be sustained? How can a human being develop a narrative of identity and life history in a society composed of episodes and fragments?” (Sennett, 2007, p.26). And all of this across the various affiliations of adult life, both in the workplace and outside of it, as well as in the increasingly widespread settings of unemployment or casual, temporary work, etc... I have chosen to open this paper with a series of questions posed by Sennett (2007) that can guide us in exploring, at least briefly and partially, the complexity and problematic riskiness of the post-modern society we live in. It is against such an anthropological-cultural, political-institutional and socio-economic background, which represents one of the key themes of this conference, that I set out to reflect on the “state of the art” in education and training, and in particular, the education and training of today’s adults and young adults. Today, adult education is no longer associated with a given age group or life stage, due to the social and societal liquidity, as Bauman (1999; 2003) calls it, in which we are all immersed. From this perspective, we cannot avoid addressing the issue of adult education, which emerges as an urgent priority, in Italy at any rate, especially in relation to the political-educational decision-making and strategies of the relevant institutional actors. It seems that a possible, or rather, an objective and realistic direction for adult education to take is that leading to the delivery and implementation, on a vast scale, of adult education practices that might be viewed as excessively oriented towards adapting adults to existing circumstances, while losing sight of key dimensions such as contemporary adults’ relationship with knowledge (Alberici,1993) and of the meaning that they attribute to their own autobiographical journeys, characterised by continuity and dis-continuity, including in the educational/training sphere itself. A model of education that is essentially and excessively based on the transmission of knowledge is clearly in tune with overall political, economic and institutional needs, but, conversely, is at odds with the autobiographical paths of individual adults which, as a consequence of constant uncertainty, insecurity and feelings of inadequacy (Bauman, 1999; Beck, 1992, p.62), are increasingly on the brink of becoming what Beck defines as “risk biographies”, or even, “danger biographies” (1992, p.67). This suggests the potential value of a renewed emphasis on adult education offerings based on the “learning to think”, or even, “re-learning to think” first advocated by Donata Fabbri (1994, pp.127-134). Specifically, at this juncture in adult education, I make the case for adopting narrative-self-reflective-autobiographical educational dispositives.
No
paper
liquidity society, adapting, learning to think, re-learning to think, adult education
English
International Conference: Continuity and Discontinuity in Learning Careers: Potentials for a Learning Space in a Changing World
Castiglioni, M. (2016). What kind of adult education is required in the risk society?. Intervento presentato a: International Conference: Continuity and Discontinuity in Learning Careers: Potentials for a Learning Space in a Changing World, Sevilla, Spain.
Castiglioni, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/133866
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