The political economy of adult education and development : the case of Botswana, 1966-1991

Youngman, Frank

Education
February 1995

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 1995 Frank Youngman. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

[From the introduction:]
Adult education in the countries of the South takes place largely within the discourse of development. Policy-makers and practitioners set goals and assess performance in terms of ideas about what adult education can contribute to the processes of national development. An important issue for the study of adult education is therefore the relationship between adult education and development. However, the writing in this field consists mainly of descriptive accounts of adult education activities, reports of programme evaluations, and the results of small scale empirical research projects. There appear to have been few attempts to address the question of adult education and development at a theoretical level and to elaborate general propositions about the relationship between adult education and society in the countries of the South.

This is certainly the case in Botswana. A review by the author of adult education research in Botswana in the mid-1980s criticised the over-reliance on personal experience and unexamined assumptions and the lack of systematic analysis. In particular, it expressed concern about the dominance of research linked to the demands of specific programmes and the lack of basic research which could provide more general investigations of adult education and its social context:

For adult education in Botswana to develop, there is a need for basic research which goes beyond the immediate concerns of practitioners and policy-makers. Such research would consider the socio-economic context of adult education in more depth and would consider issues and problems not in a narrowly technical way. Perhaps above all it would aspire to a more theoretical understanding of adult education in Botswana. (Youngman, 1986a: 15).

This problem is the focus of the present study. The study is therefore primarily a work of theory. It is based on a deductive approach which is concerned mainly with the construction of a theoretical framework and the delineation of research agendas derived from that framework. It applies these research agendas in the context of Botswana in order to examine the adequacy of the theory’s concepts and general propositions. These applications seek to demonstrate the explanatory power of the theoretical framework whilst also providing insights into various aspects of adult education in Botswana. The emphasis is on theory-building because it is believed that this will be of value a) for the development of adult education research in the South; and b) for the generation of new directions in the study of adult education in Botswana. The study therefore provides an alternative approach to the atheoretical empiricism which often prevails in research on adult education and development (Paulston and Altenbaugh,1988: 115).

It is postulated that Marxist political economy provides a coherent theoretical foundation for understanding the complexities of adult education as a social phenomenon. However, a review of the existing literature on the political economy of adult education reveals that previous studies have not been comprehensive in using the key elements of the theory. The study therefore seeks to elaborate a political economy approach based on Marxist social theory as the theoretical paradigm within which to examine the relationship of adult education and development in the peripheral capitalist countries of the South. It applies this theoretical framework to the specific case of Botswana.

Publisher
Department of Adult Education, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Ghazzali, A.
Ethos identifier
uk.bl.ethos.296119
Qualification level
Doctoral
Qualification name
PhD
Language
English
Extent
13 MB
Identifier
hull:17269
QR Code