Community learning projects: transforming post-compulsory education provision in rural communities

McLachlan, Kathryn and Arden, Catherine H. (2009) Community learning projects: transforming post-compulsory education provision in rural communities. Rural Society, 19 (2). pp. 146-162. ISSN 1037-1656


Rural communities such as Stanthorpe on Queensland's Southern Downs in Australia, are familiar with turbulent environmental, social, technological and economic change and the adversity that frequently accompanies such changes. The capacity of individuals and communities to bounce back from adversity is referred to as resilience. Participation in lifelong and life-wide learning is promoted as a strategy for rural community development, resilience and renewal. Stanthorpe which declared itself as a 'learning community' in 2005, has been described as resilient, not only by the people who live there, but also by outsiders who view the community as a friendly, vibrant lifestyle choice.
This paper reports a reflexive analysis of three learning community projects undertaken by a group of community leaders in partnership with their regional universities that used Participatory Action Research (PAR) and evaluation to draw on and mobilise 'insider' and 'outsider' resources and expertise to promote purposive action to address their particular issues. Using processes of introspection and collaborative, critical reflection, the authors review each of these projects and propose these as a form of non-accredited post-compulsory education that succeeds in serving the lifelong learning aspirations of the community.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright eContent Management Pty Ltd 2009. Paper in special issue of journal: Sea Changes, Tree Changes and Bush Lessons: Post-compulsory Education and Rural Renewal. Harreveld, R. E. (Bobby); Danaher, Geoff and Danaher, Patrick Alan.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2011 02:52
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2014 01:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: adult learning; lifelong learning; participatory action research (PAR); fourth generation evaluation
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160804 Rural Sociology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130101 Continuing and Community Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
Identification Number or DOI: 10.5555/rsj.19.2.146

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