Competing knowledges in lifelong education

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Abstract

That is, consciously and unconsciously patterned behaviours of deliveringcurriculum, no matter what the discipline area, have the potential to produce accessibilityand achievement, but many would argue that these same behaviours also reproduceinequalities. Ideas from the above theme, take on a whole new perspective with a focuson building workplace and academic skills to the exclusion of cultural identity development.Acquiring skills has the potential to provide another form of competence, yes, butmay also undermine learner confidence in being able to transition successfully to furthercommunity or higher education programmes. For example, such development alone doeslittle to improve and strengthen literacy, language and numeracy capability for learnersto be able to access and undertake tertiary studies, but may do more to compounddebates about whiteness behaviours implicit in the post-colonial criticism of 'whose interestis being served'.This is a discussion paper about access to, and participation in learning opportunities forMa¯ori learners in New Zealand, and Indigenous learners in Australia. Teaching and learningpractice in three separate institutional education programmes'one in New Zealandand two in Australia'highlight the problematic nature of inclusion based on competingknowledge systems and frameworks. These systems relate to differing worldviews abouthow knowledge is privileged and disseminated within society. One view is that whitenessbehaviour, through a western worldview, is the erasure of inequality because it presents asthe norm in many adult education teaching situations; quite often manifested as indulgentpractice, but one that also reinforces the hegemony of normativity. In contrast, anAboriginal/Indigenous worldview is one that places knowledge within a spiritual realm;constantly resituating the individual into the nexus between individual and cultural ties.The discussion here, is about ideas of whiteness behaviours being present in curriculumdelivery, whereby mainstream ideals produce planes of engagement that encapsulatewhite subjectivities which are both visible and invisible, and represent just one chronologyof whiteness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-829
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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