http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/issue/feed Concept 2017-11-07T10:35:32+00:00 Stuart Moir Stuart.Moir@ed.ac.uk Open Journal Systems <p>The Journal of Contemporary Community Education Practice Theory. The Concept Journal offers a lively independent forum for critical debate and exchange of ideas in contemporary Community Education. Community Education is seen in the broadest sense to include community work, adult education and youth work and takes place in a range of settings and agencies. We see the concept of community education as dynamic and diverse and do not seek to reflect a fixed view.</p> http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/article/view/2462 A Genealogy of Youth Work’s Languages: Shapers 2017-11-07T10:15:55+00:00 Allan Clyne stuart.moir@ed.ac.uk <p>In this article I return to the work Bright (2015), Dawes (1975), Eagar (1953), Percival (1951), and Springhall (1977); to youth work’s second generation, born in or after 1856. I have named them youth work’s shapers: who translated youth work’s foundational Christian language beyond its initial tongue. Before providing a short biographical summary of these shapers I give a description of the most significant translations in youth work language; the move from its original Christian language into mono-theism and then into <em>providential deism</em>. I have called these, <em>minor translations</em>. Minor translations occur when a language’s motifs remain the same: ‘God’, ‘religion’, ‘spiritual’, ‘salvation’, ‘belief’, ‘worship’ but their application changes. The understanding of God, for example, extends beyond a Christian understanding, to an identifiable acknowledgement of a ‘deity’. Similarly, there remains a commitment to faith, but what faith means changes. I go on to show the nature of these translations before concluding that, despite these changes, youth work maintained differing forms of its foundational Christian language.</p> 2017-09-09T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/article/view/2465 Education Governance in Scotland: A Response 2017-11-07T10:15:56+00:00 Jim Crowther stuart.moir@ed.ac.uk A Review of the recent Scottish Governemt publication on education governance. 2017-09-09T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/article/view/2489 Whither Adult Education in the Learning Paradigm? Some Personal Reflections 2017-11-07T10:35:32+00:00 Ian Martin stuart.moir@ed.ac.uk <div><p>The Scottish Government is currently in the process of making some significant changes to the governance of education in Scotland (see Crowther in this volume). This is likely to have major implications for community education work in Scotland, shifting its focus and purpose. These changes are also creating unease amongst many practitioners. However these changes and what lies behind them –  increased managerialism and technical rationality, the narrowing of the scope of the work to emphasise attainment and employability, and more State targeting of who we work with –  will have resonance beyond Scotland. Due to this renewed focus on the purpose of community education work, we thought it would be helpful for those trying to make sense of the current context to publish a paper by Ian Martin from 2008. With a focus on adult education, Martin explores some of the key traditions, ideas and challenges, which have helped shape what adult education is today, and reasserts the need for political and social purpose in this work.</p></div> 2017-09-09T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/article/view/2490 The ‘C’ Word Understanding the Context of Mental Distress 2017-11-07T10:35:32+00:00 Jo McFarlane stuart.moir@ed.ac.uk <p>Why is context important? Because, without it, we fill in the blanks and arrive at erroneous conclusions. That is precisely what psychiatry has done with our distress. By second-guessing ‘scientific evidence’ that has so far proved elusive, they have sent us on a wild goose chase, diverting everyone’s attention from the causal factors that are right before our eyes. Instinctively we know this but it has suited us, as a society and as individuals, to ignore it and bow instead to the ‘expertise’ of those whose professional, financial and political motives we neglect to examine. This article attempts to redress the balance by speaking frankly from my experience of coming through the psychiatric system to emerge with a clearer understanding of the damage that is done by medicalising our distress.</p> 2017-09-09T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/article/view/2468 Resisting ‘human capital’ ideology? 2017-11-07T10:15:56+00:00 Lyn Tett stuart.moir@ed.ac.uk Human capital was defined by Gary Becker (1975) as ‘any stock of knowledge or characteristics the worker has (either innate or acquired) that contributes to his or her productivity’.  This knowledge was regarded as a form of capital because it was seen as enabling workers to invest in a set of marketable skills through gaining credentials that would enable them to increase their earnings.  This commodification of human beings as a form of capital goods has been much criticised (e.g. Rubenson, 2015) but nevertheless has gained largely uncritical currency.   It has been taken up by many international organisations, especially the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) as a key driver of adult learning because ‘for individuals, investment in human capital provides an economic return, increasing both employment rates and earnings’ (OECD, 2001:3).  <p>When applied to literacy learning, this model of knowledge claims a universal relationship with economic development, individual prosperity and vocational achievement and this in turn leads to an assumption that skills-focused education is the most important. This perspective, which regards countries and their citizens as competitors in a global market place, then gets translated into measurable indicators such as those used in the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) (OECD, 2016). These powerful standards become taken for granted in our everyday practices, meaning that the focus of education is on the national productivity agendas that are in the interests of industry rather than ordinary people (Rizvi and Lingard, 2010).  In addition the narrow domains of skills-focused knowledge perpetuated by these interests become accepted as normal and so are difficult to challenge (Gorur, 2014).</p> 2017-09-09T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/article/view/2464 Poems 2017-11-07T10:15:55+00:00 Jo McFarlane stuart.moir@ed.ac.uk 2017-09-09T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/article/view/2463 Mason, P. (2015) PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future. 2017-11-07T10:15:55+00:00 Thomas Allmer stuart.moir@ed.ac.uk Paul Mason is an interesting figure. UK’s former Chancellor, George Osborne, recently described him as ‘revolutionary Marxist’ and compared him with Micky Mouse in a speech to the House of Commons . Trying to read this positively, Mason is undoubtedly a very progressive and energetic figure on the left in the UK. At a time when journalists claim to be independent and value-free and are simultaneously unable to conduct proper and informative interviews with politicians due to their pseudo-critical and aggressive style , it is refreshing to see journalists like Paul Mason in the arena. He is able to conduct critical, investigative and in-depth journalism and has proven his ability for many years at the BBC and until recently as Economics Editor at Channel 4 News. In order ‘to escape the constraints of impartiality rules governing broadcasters’ and to engage more fully in the debates of the political left, Mason decided to leave Channel 4 News and now works as a freelance journalist . Mason is quite active and well-known on the political left. He recently produced an independent documentary about the crisis in Greece (#ThisIsACoup) , hosts talks with people like Yanis Varoufakis in front of a massive audience , contributes to Labour’s new economics series  and is followed by more than 400,000 people on Twitter. 2017-09-09T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##