In the present paper I present and discuss different approaches to research on recruitment and participation in formal learning in educational institutions. I have concentrated on contributions focusing on low skilled adults. In the discussion I will focus on the concepts of motivation and participation and the relation among these. I argue for the necessity of analyzing motivation as historical and social phenomena and hereby increase the awareness of the specific subjective, historical and social conditions for motivation and participation. By outlining and analyzing the work life story of Martin I discuss the fruitfulness of employing a concept of experience, informed by critical theory, in order to understand the ‘potential participant’ as a specific social and historical subject with certain conditions for perceiving needs and opportunities for participation in formal education. The paper is a part on my PhD project; fulfilling the vision of lifelong learning for all. Where I study the Danish national strategy on lifelong learning for all, and how members of the target group, low skilled workers in small and medium sized production companies, during their work life experiences the need and possibilities to develop and renew work related skills.
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The Fourth Nordic Conference on Adult Learning, 2011