PIAAC and Trojan Horses

The political fallout of the alleged “Trojan Horse” controversy in Birmingham has replaced the results of the European elections in the news headlines. Extremism, mistrust and intolerance are increasingly common threads in reported news.

Meanwhile, few people are commenting on findings from the OECD’s recent PIAAC Report that relate to adult learning and its effects on tolerance, citizenship and social cohesion, although the mainstream media reported on the report’s comparisons of adult literacy and numeracy levels in different countries.

LLinEAn article on Active citizenship and non-work related aspects of PIAAC by Ricarda Motschilnig, published in LLinE, explores these under-reported findings. The full article contains data but the extract below gives a flavour of the author’s commentary.

European societies are becoming more complex, and generally, there are no simple solutions to political problems. Populist parties present simple answers and, in order to be able to see behind these strategies, Europe needs people that can read and understand more complex contexts. This is especially true for the European level and the European institutions. As Europe gets ready for the next European elections, it is in the interest of democracy and European cohesion that we boost the access to adult education.

PIAAC shows that high skills proficiency levels can promote social cohesion and strengthen citizenship, and can deepen social networks. Adult learning may support the development of shared norms, greater trust towards other individuals and the government and more civic co-operation.

Therefore there is a call for an increased awareness of the wider benefits of lifelong learning, which go way beyond the economic and job-benefits, but extend to social and individual benefits, such a social cohesion and active citizenship. Participating in learning activities and increasing skills can provide a stable time framework, a community, a chance for re-orientation, a safe place, a new challenge, social recognition, and end up being an important tool for empowerment. Especially in times of crisis, literacy skills are necessary for tackling economic and societal challenges

Education prepares us for more than work. It has a social purpose that is more important now than ever.

Advertisements

About Ann Walker
Adult education and lifelong learning specialist and campaigner. LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1GI0QK1

4 Responses to PIAAC and Trojan Horses

  1. gogwit says:

    Reblogged this on Gogwit's Blog and commented:
    “Education prepares us for more than work. It has a social purpose that is more important now than ever.”

  2. Ann Walker says:

    Thanks for your comment and reblog Ben.

    Whatever the facts, the situation in Birmingham – and the reporting of it – is troubling.

  3. Andria Birch says:

    The Birmingham case has a scarily 1894 tone about it. Which on a slightly lighter note has a literary link to my …

    Shameless plug of our ALW event in the East Midlands exploring the role of fiction in social purpose education – with Henry Tam as guest speaker:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-novel-exploration-of-inequality-tickets-11305598349

Thoughts, comments or links to other resources? Click here to add.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: