Spaces of learning: the challenges of policy frameworks for the personal and professional identities of adult educators in England; thoughts from a field in transition.

This is the keynote address I gave to the Women in Lifelong Learning Group of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) at their conference in 2009.

In my presentation I interrogated some of the implications of the Skills for Life strategy in the Learning and Skills Sector in England for Literacy, Language and Numeracy (LLN) practitioners’ professional identities, and the achievement of a required professional profile. I drew upon the subjective experiences of practitioners as tutors, managers and trainers through their working life histories, to explore the creation and maintenance of personal and professional identities within policy discourses that problematised the skills and knowledge base of the workforce and radically altered workplace practices. I also offered some thoughts regarding the issue of gender in the context of both continuing professional development and the impact of policy shifts on women’s position in a sector experiencing ’[e]ndless change’ (Edward et al, 2007).

Spaces-UALL -final (DS 14pt) copy