By Linda Anne Barkas

The pursuits underpinning the guidelines to extend and widen participation have impacted on collage provision to aid scholars enhance their basic literacy and educational writing talents. This publication examines how and why scholars' abilities Centres, (SSCs), won this sort of carry within the quarter, regardless of the contentious nature of the examine proof that demanding situations the idea of the applicability of common writing talents. it really is argued within the ebook, that on a small scale, SSCs illustrate the paradoxes and ironies that experience built in greater schooling. 'The Paradox of talents' can be of curiosity to researchers of talents improvement and widening participation in larger schooling. It offers an introductory textual content into the complexity of universities' roles as they fight to handle critical government's calls for for graduates to have demonstratable 'employment skills'.

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Extra info for The Paradox of Skills: Widening Participation, Academic Literacy & Students' Skills Centres

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2003). The third category refers to semi-professional adults who have no previous experience of a university education and the fourth category is a mixture of all three and refers to people who live in neighbourhoods classed as requiring ‘renewal’ (Reynolds, 2003). , (2003) showed how poor literacy and numeracy skills could prove an attitudinal barrier to widening participation. They stated that “…those with limited skills are more likely to end up in low or unskilled jobs, which are vulnerable to the modern economy, often leading to long-term periods of unemployment” (Basic Skills Agency[BSA]2001, quoted in Powell et al, 2003, 3).

In terms of skills development, however, the term vocational can be applied in a more positive sense to mean development in the crafts, technical or professional levels (Jessup, 1990; 19 CHAPTER 2 Bates, 1997; Coffield and Williamson, 1997; Unwin, 2004a). In the context of educational change, the discourse of ‘vocationalism’ is at the centre of the debate of higher education’s role in the dispersal of knowledge in society, which in effect has changed from “…higher education in society to higher education of society” (Barnett, 1994, 6).

Social capital theory, however, takes a more comprehensive and intrinsically subjective view of the common ‘value’ placed in terms of what is important to a given social group. So between any numbers of people concerned, this ‘social value’ will encompass what they trust in as their ‘normative values’ (Crowther, 2004, 1). As economic competitiveness crosses the globe, the opposing views either clash or are ignored, in each of the ‘worlds’ in the different ‘universes’ of governments, educational institutions and businesses.

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