Tag Archives: life story narratives

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


Past traces, present memories: exploring life history accounts from the Mass-Observation Archive.

This research paper was presented at the Women’s History Network conference, Glasgow, September 2008. It draws upon my Doctoral research, in which I interrogated the education life histories of correspondents to the Contemporary Project of the Mass Observation Archive, University of Sussex Library. The paper explores the complexities of working class family responses to education during the interwar period in England, and considers the impact of the Second World War on their education and occupational trajectories.

WHN08-Past tracesFINAL copy

Citizenship and Regeneration: Participation or Incorporation?

In this chapter, published in 2003, I explore the experiences of local community activists involved in regeneration initiatives in a large seaside town on the sout coast of the UK, and indicate their complex, fractured and sometimes contradictory nature. Their experiences are also set against changing definitions of community and of citizenship and refracted through government regeneration narratives. Activists’ voices frame the concepts of participatory spaces, community representation processes and activists’ identity as I explore community participation in regeneration forums.

published in 2003 as Ch.7,’Citizenship and Regeneration; Participation or Incorporation?’, in P.Coare & R Johnston, Adult Learning, citizenship & community voices, NIACE; Leicester.

Citizenship&Regeneration-chp as published-NIACE2003 copy