Understanding and Enhancing Learning Cultures in Community Based Further Education

Research Questions

In the first phase of the project, the elements of the learning culture will be examined in each learning site to ascertain what they are, how they interact and whether they are amenable to positive change. In the second phase, change will be introduced to the learning culture with the aim of increasing the learners' engagement with learning and providing a more positive learning experience.

Overall the project will address the following research questions:

•  What are the dispositions to learning of learners in each research site, and how have these been shaped by their life histories, and habitus?

•  How do the wider social relationships in which learners are involved contribute to the development of learning relationships and learning careers?

•  In what ways do the dispositions of learners and tutors, and the social relationships in which they are involved, relate to the practices associated with learning in each site to create a learning culture?

•  What changes in approaches to learning and teaching, the curriculum and 'classroom' organisation will support the development of learning relationships and learning careers, and the creation of more effective learning cultures?

•  What changes in institutional arrangements will support the development of more effective learning cultures, and more positive engagement with learning in community contexts?

•  To what extent do the concepts of learning relationships, learning careers and learning cultures contribute to the development of theoretical frameworks which enhance our understanding of the processes of learning?

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