Education for mothers and children : a contribution to community development
The focus of this study is the exploration of whether two-generational approaches to education for mothers and children can enhance the process of community development and lead to community empowerment. Using an action research model of intervention, a community based project was initiated to develop educational opportunities for young children and families in a low income, urban neighbourhood. Parents, particularly mothers, were supported in their role as primary educators of their own young children and as individuals in their own right with wider interests and concerns. A wide range of activities was developed, but a holistic perspective ensured that they all contributed to the integration of support networks in the community. An imbalance in the involvement of women and men in the project led to an exploration of women's role in the community and the recognition of how a feminist perspective could refine and extend a radical adult education approach. Defining women as an oppressed group enabled the development of strategies for education as liberation rather than domestication. It is acknowledged, however, that education is a tool in the development process, not a solution to wider social and economic problems.