Research presentation at the 2017 UALL Conference in York

We are pleased to announce that the Reinventing Learning Cities project will be presented during the forthcoming UALL 2017 Annual Conference in York.  The theme of the Conference: Lifelong learning: Local, regional and international? has strands addressing the context of lifelong learning which enhances local, regional and global development as well as sustainable partnerships for economic and social development.

Keri Facer and Magda Buchczyk will present a paper on the “Learning City in a multiscale perspective:  researching the practice of lifelong learning in Bristol”

In the recent decades, one of the key mechanisms by which ideas of lifelong learning have been disseminated internationally, is that of the learning city. Learning Cities pool together resources to meet the learning needs of the residents and establish collaborations between educational, public, private, non-governmental and voluntary sectors to meet the social goals of inclusiveness and sustainable development. The UNESCO Learning Cities’ network constitutes an intersection between global and city-based practices aiming to unlock local capacity and embed global agendas within the urban fabric.

This paper presents a research-based perspective on the multiscale nature of the “actually existing” learning city. Based on primary research in Bristol, it demonstrates how lifelong learning activities are operating in the urban space within and outside the official framework of the Bristol Learning City and the UNESCO initiatives. By paying theoretical and methodological attention to the strategic city-wide initiatives and the localised aspects of lifelong learning, we uncover the local, regional and international imaginaries of lifelong learning. The research demonstrates that lifelong learning has to be understood in its actuality, in relation to everyday life and experiences of adaptation, emergence and change. Moreover, this research also highlights that lifelong learning needs to be probed critically as a non-neutral field (Biesta 2013) and a situated mode of educational practice. In addition, the paper demonstrates that engaged multi-sited research can develop partnerships with stakeholders in order to develop new dialogue between actors and highlight a practice-based perspective on the models of lifelong learning, often constructed from particular standpoints.

This will enable us to build a more robust insight into how lifelong learning happens on the street and city-wide levels, generate new research agendas in the field and present new opportunities for policy makers and lifelong learning practitioners both internationally and locally.

For details about the conference go to: https://www.uall.ac.uk/uall-2017-annual-conference

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