Popular Education, Power and Democracy Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 13:51
Popular Education, Power and Democracy - recently published by NIACE and edited by Ann-Marie Laginder, Henrik Nordvall and Jim Crowther - contrasts the Swedish tradition of lifelong learning with the focus of policy in the UK, which it suggests places a great focus on employability. Reflections and analysis are offered throughout the book on the impact of Swedish popular education on politics and society - particularly how it has affected the development of social movements and enabled the mobilisation of change, including:
- Folk high schools and the democratisation of education.
- Popular education and the global justice movement.
- Universal lifelong learning in Sweden.
A wide range of experts from leading universities in Sweden - alongside others from the UK, USA and Japan - have contributed to the book, providing a focus on the relevance of popular education internationally. These include:
- Kjell Rubenson, from the University of British Columbia, who addresses the issue of lifelong learning for all in Europe and the role popular education could play in the European Commission’s strategy.
- Yukiko Sawano, from the University of Sacred Heart, Tokyo, who examines the influence of Scandinavian popular education in the context of lifelong learning in Japan.
- Jim Crowther, from the University of Edinburgh, who offers reflections on popular education in the UK and Sweden with a focus on the state, public life and civil society.
Jim Crowther, said:
"Sweden provides an interesting context to assess the role of the state in popular education. The experience, for some time, has been one of the state acting as a ‘beast of burden’ in supporting a broad range of personal interests and popular causes. But is it also becoming a ‘beast of prey’ in an increasingly hostile political and economic context? Have social movements become too dependent on state support? What is happening to the rich and broad curriculum of popular education at a time when the economic imperative to learn is dominant? This unique collection of chapters provides a coherent approach to assessing the role of popular education in and beyond Swedish borders."