In a political environment where the so called pragmatics of economic policy are used to dismiss any suggestion of alternative purposes for adult learning outside of skills for economic participation, is there any room for an alternative discourse? And if so, on what basis can we argue against the overwhelming imperatives of knowledge for the sake of economic growth?

In this short webinar, John Guenther will draw on research conducted in remote parts of Australia over the last 15 years to suggest ways in which research evidence can and should be used to challenge the often untested assumptions of policy and its strategic priorities. He will argue: 1) that we don’t need more data – or even better quality data; 2) that evidence of system failures –or the lack of evidence for success—demands a system response; and 3) that the logic of service delivery frameworks need to be tested and, where they are found to be deficient, challenged. John will draw on his research findings and its utilisation to demonstrate how this can be done, in the context of education, training and adult learning.

Dr John Guenther is the Research Leader Education and Training, with Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. Over the last 14 years John has conducted research and evaluation projects which have focused on remote contexts, particularly in the Northern Territory of Australia. A recurring theme in all his work is the importance of learning for adults, young people and children. His interests include education systems and their impact on learning and understanding the interface between cultures in the ‘red dirt’ context of schooling in remote communities. John uses mixed methods approaches where the powerful combination of qualitative and quantitative data can be used for transformative purposes.

This webinar was presented on October 18, 2017 as part of the ACAL AGM.