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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Conceptualising Key Issues in Non-formal Education in a low SES Community in Australia

Steve Wilson, Shrestha Mona.

In a research partnership with a City Council in Sydney, Australia, the researchers investigated the profile of non formal education (NFE) in a low SES urban community. Applying a lifelong learning framework to data analysis (Chapman and Aspin, 2001), a mapping of NFE provision in the community indicated that although there is a strong and committed service orientation by NFE providers (including neighbourhood centres, youth centres, primary and secondary schools, disability organisations, religious organisations and the NSW Department of Housing), NFE provision is fragmented and does not necessarily lead to strong human capital and empowerment outcomes for community members. The following have been identified through this research as key issues in NFE in the community: breadth of learning experiences; depth of learning experiences; validation of learning experiences; explicit pathways for learners; collaborative planning between providers; and the utilisation of volunteers. This first of two papers on this project at this conference explores these issues in relation to the provision of effective NFE and lifelong learning in this Australian urban community.


Steve Wilson  (Australia)
Head of School
School of Social Ecology and Lifelong Learning College of Arts, Education and Social Sciences
University of Western Sydney

Steve Wilson is a member of the School of Social Ecology and Lifelong Learning at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a member of the Regional Research and Innovation Research Group (RRI) at UWS. His research interests include lifelong learning, student participation in schooling, non formal education, and school - community links.

Shrestha Mona  (Australia)
Postdoctoral Fellow
Regional Research and Innovation, School of Social Ecology and Lifelong Learning
University of Western Sydney

Mona Shrestha is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the School of Social Ecology and Lifelong Learning (SELL) at the University of Western Sydney. She is also a member of Regional Research and Innovation Group within SELL. Mona's research interests are in gender issues on co-operative conflict', women and religion, and community learning.

  • Non-formal Education
  • Community Education

(30 min Conference Paper, English)