‘Understanding vulnerability and encouraging young adults to become active citizens through education: the role of adult education professionals‘
by Hanna Toiviainen, Natasha Kersh and Jaakko Hyytiä in Journal of Adult and Continuing Education.
The recent debate on active citizenship and adult education has been strongly underpinned by the discussion on how active citizenship could be exercised in a way that would promote inclusion and participation. The paper focuses on the role of adult educators in encouraging young adults in vulnerable life situations to become active citizens specifically through two empirical cases, from Finland and England (UK). The central questions the paper seeks to answer are: how do adult educators conceptualise vulnerability, and how do they see their role as facilitating young adults’ active citizenship through their teaching? The consideration of socio-cultural, socio-economic and political dimensions of active participatory citizenship provides the conceptual lens to explore young adults’ participation in different social contexts. The analysis of the case studies supports the argument that active participatory citizenship is indirectly rather than directly included in the education and training of vulnerable young adults. This leads the article to highlight the adult educators’ mediation work in facilitating the socio-economic and political dimensions of active participatory citizenship in interaction with the students. Their mediator role is broadly invisible and in contrast with the ideal of adult education as the straightforward path to socio-economic citizenship and employability.
The published article is available here (behind a paywall): https://doi.org/10.1177/1477971419826116
The post-print version of the article is available here: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:tuni-201903071320