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More than just education: A Participatory Action Research project on adult education in London
Greater London Authority
02 May 2022
This is a Toynbee Hall report on adult education commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to inform the preparation of the Mayor’s Skills Roadmap for London. For this project Toynbee Hall worked with a group of peer researchers who had lived experience of being part of one or more of the priority groups identified by the GLA as having the most to gain from adult education.
Over the course of five months peer researchers co-designed and co-produced the research and conducted in-depth interviews with over 50 people from across London about how adult education services could be improved. For this project Toynbee Hall adopted a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach. This style of research involves professional researchers and members of communities (peer researchers) working in partnership to develop the project scope, carry out the data collection, and analyse the findings.
As an important aim of this project was to improve access to adult education, this research deliberately focused on the barriers experienced by those who participated in the study, and how they felt access to and engagement with adult education could be improved. The report also learns from the positive experiences that some interviewees shared and have referenced some of this good practice in it’s recommendations. It should be noted that as a qualitative piece of work interviews should not be taken as a statistically representative sample of all Londoners but rather an in-depth look at the experiences of some of the more marginalised of Londoners.
Click here to read a blog from the peer researchers who conducted the research, speaking about the findings and their experiences of carrying out the project.