Lifewide learning in the city: novel big data approaches to exploring learning with large-scale surveys, GPS, and social media

Lido, C. , Reid, K. and Osborne, M. (2019) Lifewide learning in the city: novel big data approaches to exploring learning with large-scale surveys, GPS, and social media. Oxford Review of Education, 45(2), pp. 279-295. (doi: 10.1080/03054985.2018.1554531)

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Despite UNESCO’s Learning Cities agenda, which argues for the mobilisation of resources to promote education across all sectors and environments, there is little evaluative research on learning city engagement which is both naturalistic and empirically rigorous. The research on informal adult learning in urban contexts is particularly sparse. This paper provides a case study of informal learning and lifewide literacies amongst Glaswegian adults using three distinct approaches to data collection: a household survey capturing rich data on learning attitudes, behaviours, and literacies; GPS trails that track mobility around the city; and the capture of naturally occurring social media. The work operationalises learning city indicators, and explores domains beyond education, some of which have not previously been considered in surveys of adult learning, for example, physical mobilities and transportation patterns. We use the theoretical concepts of Social Identity and Social Capital to situate social inclusion within explanatory frameworks which interpret marginalisation in groups, places and the less tangible domain of informal learning in order to interpret our multi-strand dataset. A triangulated analysis of city-wide participation in lifewide learning reveals a demographic picture of groups marginalised from learning opportunities and practices. Examples of this include older adults in areas of deprivation and households in precarity. We conclude with a call for new approaches to exploring learning participation which offer novel methods to evidence informal learning and lifewide literacies.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [651920/1].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Osborne, Professor Michael and Reid, Dr Kate and Lido, Professor Catherine
Authors: Lido, C., Reid, K., and Osborne, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Journal Name:Oxford Review of Education
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1465-3915
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Oxford Review of Education 45(2):279-295
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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