Young People and Learning

Authored by: Rachel Brooks

The Routledge International Handbook of Learning

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  May  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415571302
eBook ISBN: 9780203357385
Adobe ISBN: 9781136598562


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How does young people's learning differ from that of children and older adults? This is an important question that guides much contemporary policy and practice within formal educational settings, and also in some of the other contexts in which young people learn – for example, in the workplace and through leisure pursuits. This chapter will suggest that the answer to this question is not clear-cut. Indeed, it will demonstrate, first, that there are important historical variations in the way that ‘young people’, as a group, have been conceptualised and understood within education and learning policy and, second, that there is considerable contestation, within contemporary discourse, about the extent to which this age group should be seen as distinct from others. In exploring these issues, the chapter draws largely, although not exclusively, on policy texts and other literature produced in the UK. However, as intimated at various points below, it is likely that similar arguments can be made with respect to education and learning policies in many other national contexts.

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