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A critical investigation of the notion of active citizenship within the workers' educational association South Wales

Gass, Jeremy 2011. A critical investigation of the notion of active citizenship within the workers' educational association South Wales. Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis examines the ways in which active citizenship is conceptualised by a variety of actors within the Workers’ Educational Association South Wales and is the work of an ‘insider’ with experience of the organisation as both employee and Trustee. The Association is a democratically structured, voluntary organisation with a history of providing adult education in communities throughout south Wales for more than a hundred years. Its reliance on funding from the Welsh Government for the majority of its income is a significant aspect of the background to this study, particularly as one of the Association’s aims is the provision of courses that ‘will assist in the promotion of active citizenship’. The research is set within the contexts of changes in adult education policy during the Association’s lifetime and a contemporary emphasis on the economic purpose of education, the contested nature of the concepts of citizenship and active citizenship and the organisation’s historic role in relation to the Labour movement and past tensions in respect of the receipt of state funding. The study explores through semi-structured interviews with those responsible for the Association’s strategic direction, both senior staff and Trustees, as well those whose role is to implement policy as Development Workers and Part-time Tutors, how active citizenship is understood and whether or not there is a shared understanding within the Association. A picture emerges in which there appears to be uncertainty among a significant proportion of participants about the Association’s purpose as well as a lack of a shared understanding of what active citizenship means and of the kinds of active citizenship the Association could promote. The study also reveals shortcomings in organisational capacity to achieve the aim of promoting active citizenship. The thesis concludes with a series of policy recommendations for the Association to consider.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:26
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/16433

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