This project was associated with the Phase II project, ‘Transforming
Learning Cultures in Further Education’ (TLC). The overall aim of
the Scottish Extension project was to provide systematic knowledge
and understanding of the learning cultures – the individual, social,
economic and historical factors that shape learning experiences
– associated with community-based further education (FE), and through
this to identify changes in practice which will lead to enhanced
engagement with learning. It extended the work of the Phase II
project through developing the theoretical and methodological perspectives
within the TLC project, and focusing on an aspect of provision which
is not central to that project (viz. community based provision).
Our work was contextualised in the current policy focus on lifelong
learning where the key contributions of the FE sector and the particular
contribution of community based provision to widening access, supporting
lifelong learning and tackling social exclusion are recognised.
The work was undertaken in partnership with two Scottish FE colleges.
The project sought to integrate a number of theoretical perspectives,
develop a methodological approach leading to an enhanced
understanding of learning cultures, and identify how these could be
transformed. The distinctive methodological approach was based
on collaborative work with tutors and students through which change
strategies were identified and implemented on each site.
This contributed to a programme of dissemination which was designed
to involve the wider FE community in a process of investigation,
reflection and change. The concepts of learning cultures, learning
careers and learning relationships provided the framework for
the analysis of the data which was be generated. The project provided models for transformation of learning cultures in FE community
based provision, leading to enhanced learner outcomes.