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Understanding the Dynamics of the Employability Agenda in Further Education Colleges in England: New Cross College - A Case Study
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. (Adult Learning)
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study explores the dynamic of what happens within a further education college in order to develop an understanding of the cultures, systems and processes that are used to socially construct meaning around work and employability.  It is an inductive approach and is based on a case study of a further education college in South London.  The case study is analysed through the metaphor of an “extended family” and draws on social learning theory which is predicated on meaning and identity being created through social interaction (Wenger, 1998).  What has become apparent from being immersed within that extended family of the College, from interviews with staff and students, interacting in social activities, observing classes and reviewing many of its artefacts is perhaps an unremarkable conclusion.  The work of the family is not primarily about imparting a given set of skills (although that plays an important part) but in the formation of identity: “because learning transforms who we are and what we can do, it is an experience of identity” (Wenger, 1998, p. 215).  A major task for the College is to build self belief in developing the identity of learners and assist them to make new meaning so that they can transact effectively in economic life.  To the extent that one can examine and comprehend the organisational DNA of a further education college there are markers here, genes if you will, that can be passed across generations of learners that adapt and shift to survive in life beyond the boundaries of this community.  This study constructs a narrative around that research experience to respond to that primary research question about how the dynamics of the employability operate within a college.  The answer is partial, limited and perhaps only grabs at a corner of what is really going on within the College.  With those caveats and disclaimers what follows is the story of how a discourse takes root and flourishes within a learning community.  It points to the need to re-set the relationship between FE colleges and government to promote greater coherence between policy and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 65 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16899ISRN: LIU-IBL/IMPALGC-A--09/001--SEOAI: diva2:174452
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2009-09-22 Created: 2009-02-22 Last updated: 2009-09-22Bibliographically approved

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