UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The meaning of an education : lifelong learning and the blues Mitchell, Lindsay C.


All knowledge is individually constructed and contextually situated. Simply stated, different things mean different things to different people, under different circumstances, in different places, and at different times. What then is the meaning of an education? Pragmatic philosophy holds the meaning of something to be intrinsically associated with its functional purpose or effect. Accordingly, it "is" what it "does." Education is thus commonly viewed as a way of instructing children and young persons in preparation for their making informed career choices leading to positive and productive participation in mainstream society as responsible adults. Current definitions include the upgrading, retraining and re-certification of mature workers. Long considered a pipeline to social and material prosperity, education is generally programmed to succeed. But no two learners are the same, and everyone’s experience is unique. What about the less well served, the ones that don’t fit in — the ones flushed out the system’s other end? What meaning does education hold for them? This exercise examines one such experience — my own.

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