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Liquid Learning and Educational Work – Boundary politics in global transitions

Seddon T. Liquid Learning and Educational Work - Boundary politics in global transitions.  Routledge London, 2016. ISBN: 9780415603539. Pages: 208

Over the last 30 years the effects of economic globalisation have transformed education and its relationship to work and everyday working lives. Market reform and the appropriation of ‘learning’ to fuel the knowledge economy produced a lifelong learning educational order, complemented by social inclusion to manage residual and resistant populations. In the process education was decentred, learning spaces were diversified within an education market that served the world of work. Educators were remaindered by a rising tide of coaches, counsellors, learning managers and mentors who ‘facilitate’ rather than ‘teach’.

In this groundbreaking book the author contextualises these changes as a way of re-reading our times and its educational effects. The chapters examine the interface of policy and practice and map the shifting relations between educational work and social organisations of learning by developing three key themes:
  • Liquid learning: drawing on Bauman’s characterisation of ‘liquid modernity’, the concept of liquid leaning details the cultural conditions that confront educators and those who seek to use education as a social instrument to address economic, social, cultural, environmental and political development
  • Making spaces of orientation: designing and realising strategies to address the challenges of "liquid modernity"
  • Educational work: considering the specialist expertise that educators as an occupational group bring to the challenges of liquid learning.

The case examples that make up the main body of this book show how spaces of orientation are made and how they can be designed to support learning for living in interdependence. Each of these cases is informed by substantial empirical research and fine-grained analyses are used to define the nature of educational work, the resources that are mobilised in constructing contexts for learning, and its contribution to the art of politics that makes spaces of orientation. As the author demonstrates, educators have expertise that is critical in the contemporary globalised world and its politics