UNESCO’s Learning Cities agenda promotes education across all sectors and environments, but the success of its initiatives have not been rigorously evaluated.
This project aims to develop comparable urban-based indicators with which we can examine the influence of a range of factors on lifelong learning participation in postgraduate education and in less formal adult learning settings.
Aims and Objectives
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 that is both naturalistic and rigorous (see Lido, Reid and Osborne 2019). We have already explored informal learning and lifewide literacies amongst adults in Glasgow 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 has begun the operationalisation of learning city indicators, and has explored a number of domains beyond education, some of which have not previously been considered in surveys of adult learning, for example, travel patterns.
ONS have a particular interest in the development of local indicators of skills and productivity, and we will work with them and others to explore how we might develop composite indicators of urban learning that operationalize UNESCO’s Learning Cities framework, with potentially widespread application in cities within the UK and beyond. This will involve further interrogation of existing data within the iMCD.
Considerable work has already been done on composite indicators, including within the area of lifelong learning, and we will be informed by the work of EU’s JRC (Joint Research Committee)-COIN (Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards) team, which has developed methodologies in a number of domains. However, the work shows that, in the area of lifelong learning, outcomes are not fine-grained at city level, and we there may be able to develop measures of greater use in urban settings.
This project will therefore set about addressing the following research questions:
- How might we operationalise robust indicators for Learning Cities and create international comparisons for best practices in urban settings globally?
- Can viable and culturally sensitive composite indicators for learning cities be developed?
- How are less formal types of learning in the form of life-wide literacies (particularly cultural literacies, as well as health, financial and ecological literacies) related to positive educational and health outcomes, particularly for older adults and those in marginalised communities?
- What factors are affecting lifelong learning participation, into postgraduate and less formal adult learning settings? How does adult learning in Scotland compare with that in England and other comparable countries?
Lead: Prof. Michael Osborne
- Article: Lido, C., Reid, K. & 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.
- Book section: Osborne, M., Houston, M. and Lido, C. (2018) The role of big data in elucidating learning cities ancient, present and future. In: Stenger, J. R. (ed.) Learning Cities in Late Antiquity: the Local Dimension of Education. Routledge: London ; New York, pp. 24-46. ISBN 9781138299870
- Book section: Lido, C., Osborne, M., Livingston, M., Sila-Nowicka, K. and Thakuriah, P. (2018) 'Big Data' techniques to improve learning access and citizen engagement for adults in urban environments. In: Scott, L., Watson, C. and Wu, A.T. (eds.) Quality of Life in Adult Learning. Series: Adult learning in professional, organizational, and community settings. Information Age Publishing, Inc.: Charlotte, NC. (In Press)
- Briefing paper: Lido, C., Reid, K and Osborne, M. (2018) PASCAL Briefing Paper 11 - Big Data, Lifelong Learning and Learning Cities: Promoting city-discourse on social inequalities in learning. (Available in English, Korean and Mandarin)
- Article: Lido, C., Osborne, M., Livingston, M., Thakuriah, P. and Sila-Nowicka, K. (2016) Older learning engagement in the modern city. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 35(5), pp. 490-508.
- Conference proceedings: Osborne, M. and Lido, C. (2016) Big Data Techniques to Improve Learning Access and Citizen Engagement for Adults in Urban Environments. In: International Conference of Taipei Learning City, Taipei, Taiwan, Nov 2016.
- Book section: Osborne, M. and Lido, C. (2015) Lifelong learning and big data. In: Gartenschlaeger, U. and Hirsch, E. (eds.) Adult Education in an Interconnected World: Cooperation in Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development. Series: International Perspectives in Adult Education (71). DVV International: Bonn, pp. 116-125. ISBN 9783942755238