Concept <p>The Journal of Contemporary Community Education Practice Theory. Concept 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> en-US <p><img src="//" alt="Creative Commons License"> <br> This is an Open Access journal. All material is licensed under a <a href="">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)</a> licence, unless otherwise stated.<br>Please read our <a href="/about/policies#openAccessPolicy">Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies</a> for more information.</p> (Gary Fraser) (Scholarly Communications Team, Edinburgh University Library) Thu, 28 Mar 2024 18:59:30 +0000 OJS 60 “To see oursels as others see us!” <p><em>In April 2025 there will, I hope, be celebrations across Scotland and beyond to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Alexander report, the Challenge of Change and five decades of community education practice.&nbsp; I shall certainly be raising a glass to a man and a publication that put Scottish community education on the map, not just of Scotland, but internationally. This article traces some of the international influence of the Scottish approach that emerged since the report was published, and in particular of its association with the wider field of community development. &nbsp;I have too often felt that Scots at home, not least policy makers, have not recognised the influence Scottish practice and scholarship has had internationally. In my view, it has been and remains, huge.&nbsp; I hope this article will remind readers of that. And if it reaches the eyes of Scottish policy makers and funders, that they enhance investment in this vitally important work as part of any strategy to support communities to address the challenges of change. </em></p> Charlie McConnell ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 20 Mar 2024 19:21:19 +0000 Community Development through Leisure Adult Learning: <p>Community education groups can play an important role in reducing social isolationism among mature adults. The current study describes one such organization that has played an important part in the lives of about 30 mature women who have an average age of 76. Through semi-structured interviews, a thematic analysis showed that the organization has played a critical role in their social interactions, creating deep bonds among the women. What began as a group dedicated to education evolved into a strong social support network that has provided important social capital development for participants.</p> Michael T Miller, Kenda S Grover ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 27 Mar 2024 08:37:42 +0000 A Playful Approach to the Five Ways to Wellbeing <p>In 2008, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) was commissioned to develop a set of evidence-based actions that would improve personal wellbeing and consequently, demonstrate 'real economic wellbeing' (Aked et al, 2008). Acknowledging the importance of personal, social, cultural, environmental, and economic determinants of health, the NEF replicated the ideals of the <em>5-a-Day</em> campaign using advice from the World Health Organization to promote the need to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, due to the significant health benefits this brings (NHS, 2022).Consequently, the NEF developed a new and creative approach to health promotion and developed the Five Ways to Wellbeing (Aked et al, 2008), which encourage us to Connect…&nbsp;&nbsp; Be active… Take notice… Keep learning… Give. These five simple steps can be followed every day to enhance mental health and wellbeing (Mind, 2023).&nbsp;</p> Alison Tonkin, Julia Whitaker ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 27 Mar 2024 08:49:29 +0000 Train Tracks and Tailored Learning: Is this the end of the line for government funded community education? <p>The number of people participating in state funded ‘community learning’ has diminished over the last decade from a figure of 657,200 in 2013/14 to just 274, 090 in 2022/2023. Although there are many different interpretations of what community learning is, this article’s key concern is for learning being offered ‘in’ and ‘for’ local communities.&nbsp; From next year, at least from a UK government funding perspective, ‘Community Learning’ will be no more in England. From August 2024 the new term of ‘Tailored Learning’ will be adopted instead, despite having scant provenance within adult learning. Such a name change suggests a neo-liberal political ideology and strengthens the current argument that adult learning which is paid for by the state should be for employment purposes, or a steppingstone to employment only.&nbsp; Will the new term act as a marker of increased focus on meeting individual needs, or will learning be increasingly tailored to meet employer needs? It can of course be argued that ‘Tailored Learning’ will seek to achieve both ends but, even if this is the case, the pendulum may well have swung even further towards state-funded adult learning being the facilitator of a relationship between the individual and employers.&nbsp; With an election looming, ‘Tailored Learning’ could either be a short-lived or a long-term change. On the surface, a change of name and re-categorisation of purposes does not mean that adult learning cannot continue to take place ‘in’ and ‘for’ communities. However, it does take adult learning further along the tracks of ‘efficiency’ and ‘utility’ and is therefore worthy of continued critical debate.</p> Garry Nicholson ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 27 Mar 2024 09:06:10 +0000 ‘The Impact of Community Work: How to Gather Evidence’ (2020) by, Sue Briggs, Kirsty Forrester, Ed Garrett, Karen McArdle and Catherine McKay <p><em>‘The Impact of Community Work: How to Gather Evidence’</em> is a book which I would highly recommend to anyone with an interest in community work. In one sense the book does what it says on the tin and successfully makes the case as to why gathering evidence and measuring impact matters in community work. The book also doubles up however, as an introduction to both community work and community based social research. In terms of impact and evidence, Concept readers will be aware that community work is an intensely governed activity in which community work practitioners must justify what they do to different audiences which includes management, government, inspectors, funders and of course communities themselves. “It’s not enough to just do the work” as an inspector from Education Scotland once told me; “we also need evidence that the work makes an impact”. Inspectors often refer to “impact” as the “so-what” question, namely, so what practical and measurable difference is your working making. <em>‘The Impact of Community Work’</em> will enable readers to address that “so what” question and is written as a ‘practical’ and ‘how to guide’, which is neatly divided into two parts - ‘Thinking about Impact’ (Part One) and ‘Methods of Gathering Evidence’ (Part Two).</p> Gary Fraser ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 28 Mar 2024 18:53:14 +0000