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Nov 11, 2016 | by Centre

Call for evidence: Adult community learning and wellbeing

UPDATED DEADLINE:  15 December 2016

The What Works for Wellbeing Centre is conducting a review of the relationship between adult learning and wellbeing. The review is not looking at learning or training that takes place in the context of work – since this was the focus of our first review – or learning which takes place as part of a continuation of formal education.

We are interested in all forms of adult learning that do not happen in schools, universities, or workplaces and how this impacts on people’s wellbeing, such as:

  • informal and non-formal forms of learning
  • adult learning that takes place in further education colleges
  • hobby learning, or learning for leisure
  • adult and family literacy, or numeracy
  • community based learning and training
  • the university of the third age.

Why are we reviewing learning and wellbeing?

Learning is considered important for well-being in a range of ways. But direct links between learning and wellbeing are not robustly established. Learning mechanisms that support wellbeing are not well understood. Our review seeks to address these gaps by bringing together existing evidence to answer the following questions:

  1. In the context of adult learning, to what extent are wellbeing outcomes influenced by learning outcomes and the features of the learning process?
  2. How are the wellbeing outcomes of learning influenced through other factors (such as characteristics of the learner, the learning setting, etc)?

How can you get involved?

We are looking for high quality evidence that addresses these questions. We are particularly seeking evidence that meets the following criteria:

  1. Evaluation studies with assessments of wellbeing taken before and after the learning process – this is to allow us to determine whether the learning process produced any changes in wellbeing subsequent to its introduction.
  2. Evidence that includes comparison groups that did not participate in the course of learning are particularly welcome.
  3. Studies which look at how wellbeing is impacted by either the learning process or outcome and those which look at both.
  4. Evaluations of learning which does or does not have an explicit wellbeing aim.
  5. Evidence of impacts on wellbeing may include stress, mental health, anxiety, depression, life or job satisfaction, resilience or self-efficacy.
  6. Qualitative and quantitative evidence is welcome.

All examples must be written in English or have an English translation and include an author and date. We can only accept evidence which can be made publicly available.

Please send your submissions electronically to the What Works Centre for Wellbeing (evidence@whatworkswellbeing.org), with the subject line Call for evidence: Adult Community Learning and Wellbeing.

All submissions should be received by 12 December 2016.



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