Working with matters of concern in adult education

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. This thesis contains 3rd party copyright material. ----- This thesis addresses the theory and practice split which has come to prominence in discussions in the adult education field. The thesis’s purpose is to examine why this split has proved troublesome and to examine alternative perspectives that heal not divide. In particular, the thesis examines research studies that bring attention to language, specific and contextualized learning situations, gendered contexts of learning, embodied knowing, and complexity. Each of these studies is used to highlight how the theory and practice binary can be negotiated. In particular, the thesis addresses these questions: How can theory and practice work together? How can theory inform practice? Can theory be advanced through practical means? These questions are explored through a four-part matrix: process, learning; knowledge and knowledge production, identity and practice. Each of these provides a specific, gendered and contextualized site from which to explicate ways in which adult educators, researchers, writers and practitioners, can (and have) worked together to heal divisions in theory and practice. The thesis concludes with a set of ideas that serve as a lens through which to view the theory and practice intersection. These include the need to: (a) be attentive to language and how we articulate our understanding of theory and practice; (b) be aware of how bodily or somatic knowing is an integral aspect of theorizing on practice and practicing theory; (c) examine more closely the localized and everyday situations in which theory and practice are enacted; (d) consider gendered cases of the theory practice interplay; and (c) be open to a more complex reading of how theory and practice intersect.
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