Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN10_04b: Life-long learning
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Adriana Aubert, University of Barcelona
Location: UP.3.211
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road

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The Role Of Lifelong Learning In Improving The Efficiency Of Knowledge-intensive Enterprises

Grigorii Kliucharev, Anna Chursina, Irina Trofimova

Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation

The paper considers interaction between institutions of lifelong learning and sectors of the knowledge-intensive economy. The practical importance of the investigation is that it provides a systemic understanding of the factors that secure the effective interaction of subjects, enabling recommendations for improving the efficiency of knowledge-intensive industries.

The paper’s theoretical basis is that innovation practice is viewed as an open environment with a high level of uncertainty and risk, in which both adaptation (lifelong learning) and conservative (rental) strategies are implemented. Empirical data was gathered through 100 semi-structured interviews of experts conducted between 2017-2018 in different regions of Russia. The sample included heads of knowledge-intensive enterprises, heads of educational institutions, members of innovation clusters, government employees and venture investors.

The conclusion is that the role of lifelong learning in the development of innovation processes has increased because of the need for regular training of staff and improvement of their skills based on the needs of industries. Moreover, the formal system of higher professional education doesn’t meet the requirements of the market economy. Consequently, lifelong learning is realized as supplementary professional education provided by the employer, sometimes as a corporate university structure operating as one of the divisions of the enterprise.

A Proposal for Conceptualising, Analysing and Training Computational and Critical Thinking in Adults in the Knowledge Society

Tatiana Iñiguez-Berrozpe1, Carmen Elboj-Saso1, Francesco Marcaletti2, Ellen Boeren3

1University of Zaragoza, Spain; 2Universitat Internacional de Catalunya; 3University of Edinburgh

The current knowledge society requires new skills for personal, labour and social inclusion. Among the so-called 21st Century Skills (Care, Griffin & Wilson, 2018) we can find the so-called “Computational Thinking”, that is deeply connected to the “Critical Thinking” (computational and thinking -CCT-) as problem solving competence. Whereas young people in education are (recently) trained on these skills, little or nothing is done to prepare adults to this transformation. With the aim to promote these new skills among adults, and derived from the Erasmus+ project “NACSR-New Adults’ Competences for Skills Revolution”, in this paper we propose an approach to conceptualise these relevant skills and the relationship among them, following very recent scientific literature. We also propose a methodology for measuring it, following PIAAC data on Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments (PS-TRE, OECD, 2016), performing a Structural Equation Analysis (SEM) about factors that contribute to CCT development. Results from our research suggest that it is possible to link CCT concept to the skill evaluated in PIAAC survey – PS-TRE –, making possible to measure and analyse this relevant competence. Derived from this analysis, the results show that both the educational level and the development of different skills (reading, numerical, related to ICT) at home and at work, as well as non-formal education activities, decisively indicate a greater level of CCT. Finally, to increase the possibilities of CCT development among adults, we propose a methodology for their training through a digital platform designed in our project.

The Double Exclusion: Level of Education and Educational Activity of Adults

Barbara Worek1, Magdalena Jelonek2

1Jagiellonian University, Poland; 2Cracow University of Economics, Poland

In modern societies, the problem of adult learning becomes more important and is considered as one of the significant problems that should be addressed in the sociology of education. In our presentation, we want to draw attention to the educational activity of people with low qualifications . The results of such research as the Labour Force Survey and the Adult Education Survey show that better-educated people develop their competences more often than worse-educated. This phenomenon is usually explained using the concept of cultural and social capital. However, it can be assumed that the difference in the level of the educational activity is due to other factors. One of them could be measuring method. Analysis of the Polish versions of LFS survey indicate that low-qualified people are disadvantaged in terms of selected forms of education included in questionnaires and the survey language. The Gunning Fog Index made for the questions about non-formal learning in LFS questionnaire showed that it is necessary to have a university degree to understand it. People with low qualifications have difficulty in decoding the text. Therefore, research on the educational activity of adults do not reflect the actual involvement of low-skilled people in the development of their competences. The presentation puts forward the thesis that in the area of adults learning we deal with the phenomenon of double exclusion. The adult education system is better adapted to the needs and abilities of better-educated and research measuring the level of educational activity favours people with higher language competences, further strengthening the stereotypical image of people with a lower level of education as educationally passive.

European Lifelong Guidance Policies and Devices: an Opportunity or a Hindrance to Emancipation?

Antonietta De Feo1, Marco Romito2, Catarina Gonçalves3

1University of Roma 3, Italy; 2University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy; 3University of Lisbon, Institute of Education, Portugal

In the latest educational policies at national and European level, lifelong guidance is increasingly identified as a key instrument to innovate and strengthen the provision of schooling to reduce school dropout and develop students’ adaptive capacities in a context of growing job flexibility. Guidance activities constitute indeed a key setting for the development of Career Management Skills (CMS), those abilities needed to support students in their transitions through education, work and training.

By looking at the Italian context, our paper outlines how lifelong guidance policies, and the technological mediation used to make them operational, constitute crucial devices promoting changings in teachers’ professional culture. In particular, we analyse how teachers are recruited into a new pedagogical paradigm and we reflect on if and how this opens or closes spaces for developing processes of empowering or domination, especially for students from an underprivileged background.

In the paper, we discuss the case of the recent introduction of a career guidance software in Italian schools, named SORPRENDO, whose aim is to improve the quality of guidance services in Italy and provide an e-learning platform where teachers can support and evaluate the future planning of students.

First, we provide a theoretical reflection on the agential effect of digital devices in the governing of education, in particular through their interaction with teachers’ practices; secondly, through an empiric case study research, we show the types of educational practices the software makes ‘affordable’ within the Italian school context, and the organisational and cultural tensions it creates. We conclude by reflecting on the impact of the lifelong guidance project on the pedagogical relationship between teachers and their students, highlighting limits and opportunities.

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