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Title: Irish adult education policy : victim or beneficiary of globalisation? : a critical policy analysis between 1997 and 2007
Author: Bailey, Inez
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 6987
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis represents a ten year study of an unprecedented and hitherto unexamined period of policy development in adult education in Ireland. Using a detailed critical policy analysis of three documents considered to be landmark texts in the Irish adult education world from 1997 to 2007, it illuminates why and how this occurred, as well as its consequences. Taking account of developments in adult education and lifelong learning internationally around the same time, this case study of adult education policy in Ireland is explored through the lens of globalisation. The study is intended to inform and support policy activism in adult education in Ireland, including my own work as Chief Executive Officer of a national advocacy body in this field, as well as contribute to the field of critical policy research in education generally, and adult education specifically. The choice of a critical approach to research was informed by my position as an activist working at a high policy level in the world of adult education and follows a policy trajectory method. The study reveals how a unique convergence of national and global events triggered the proliferation of adult education policy. For some this meant the realisation of the broad humanist vision of adult education, whereas for others it represented an integral element of Ireland's future economic competitiveness. The resulting ideological battle over the type of adult education ultimately supported by the State highlights how ill-equipped adult education stakeholders are to influence the full breadth of the policy process. The thesis reveals the extent to which the policy during this time was perforated with empty rhetoric which disarmed adult education stakeholders who mistakenly believed it provided the necessary security for their vision. As Ireland, along with many other countries, seeks to rebuild its society after the collapse of the global economy in 2008, the thesis offers new insights for researchers and policymakers about similarities and differences between Ireland and other countries in relation to adult education policy. It argues that new opportunities to advocate for adult education may emerge. Against this backdrop, and drawing on the findings of the thesis, I propose an advocacy toolkit for those wishing to influence adult education policy, drawing directly on a policy trajectory approach.
Supervisor: Ecclestone, Kathryn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available