There is some evidence that mature industrial workers have specific profiles, views and values, when it comes to learning and participation in educational processes and programs. It seems as if the kind of education they are motivated for should be: mimetic, minimalistic and instrumental. This is supposed to mean that in its total set up it should resemble the workplace and the workers’ daily lives; it should not interfere too much with family and leisure time; and it should have a clear output and result, i.e. for instance a (better) job (situation). The (potential) learners in question here are to a large extent characterized by a lack of routine in literacy and numeracy, including ICT. They do also often have negative interpretations of ‘change’, ‘schooling’, ‘careers’ etc. – mostly due to a lack of self confidence, based on socio-cultural experiences as being ‘inferior’, ‘failures’, ‘losers’ etc. (in school – not in practical work!). In a Danish context you will also very often see dyslexia and various forms of functional illiteracy etc. The group’s attitude towards lifelong learning is also influenced by a socio-cultural heritage: they are typically trained (brought up, socialized) through generations to develop a ’reactive’ attitude (‘the most important competence is to learn to do what you are told’). In contrast to this ‘post-industrialism’ requires a ’pro-active’ attitude (‘everybody should develop will and capacity to tell (oneself and others) what to do’). How to deal with this in lifelong learning? It is probably necessary to establish different forms of workplace learning (or: establish workplaces as learning arenas and environments). This means that the group in question should be offered personal and vocational development in a practical and ‘secure’ context and set up. A comprehensive involvement of the group itself on their own conditions in formulating needs and wishes is necessary: it is part of the learning process that they find reasons to change their self understanding from ‘objects’ into ‘subjects’. Thus, the workers’ own experiences and voices should be activated. This can, for instance, be done by involving all relevant stakeholders in participatory processes (for instance via the method of ’future work shops’ – bottom up processes, during which criticism, utopian horizons and reality elements are brought forward, reflected upon and elaborated in collective decision processes). Finally, stakeholders should realise a balance between the complexity of the challenge and the resources needed. This goes for adult educators, employers, politicians, community organizations, families etc. lear output and result, i.e. for instance a (better) job (situation) •They suffer from a lack of routine in literacy and numeracy, including ICT •They have negative interpretations of ‘change’, ‘schooling’, ‘careers’ etc. – mostly due to a lack of self confidence, based on socio-cultural experiences as being ‘inferior’, ‘failures’, ‘losers’ etc. (in school – not in practical work!) •In a Danish context you will also see dyslexia and various forms of functional illiteracy etc.
seniorer; livslang læring; barrierer
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7th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, 2011