Abstracts: July 15th, 2009

The learning transformation fund has been launched to promote informal adult learning. It is part of an initiative to create a new movement for informal learning.

Informal adult learning means learning for its own intrinsic value. It covers a variety of activities which include a dance class in a community centre, a self organised reading group in a village hall, a music class in an FE college, a guided visit to a nature reserve or stately home, researching the National Gallery collection on-line, writing a Wikipedia entry or taking part in a volunteer project to record the living history of a particular community.

The primary purpose isn’t to gain a qualification but to pursue an interest, have fun or develop a new skill for personal reasons. These activities receive Government support because they brings great benefits to individuals and to their communities. They contribute to health and well-being by building confidence, resilience and good social relationships. For some people informal learning can be an important stepping stone towards further learning, qualifications and employment.

The learning revolution is about seizing opportunities by signposting and connecting different experiences, for example a TV programme, video clip or one-off event can lead people to a face to face course, a volunteering opportunity, a self organised group or a personal project like a neighbourhood history project. It is also about providing opportunities to learn in a much wider variety of ways, for example through broadcasting, technology and self organised groups as well as adult education classes.

The Transformation Fund Prospectus is available from DIUS.