EDST 565A 81: Migration and Adult Education

EDST 565A 81: Migration and Adult Education
Term: Winter 1 (Sept – Dec., 2019)

Wednesdays, 4:30 – 7:30 pm

Instructor: Hongxia Shan

Email: hongxia.shan@ubc.ca

Phone: 604-822-3349


Course introduction

“All the world seems to be on the move” (Urry, 2006, p. 207). Asylum seekers, professionals, guest workers, undocumented migrants, international students, business people, families, tourists and many others have changed the social, cultural, economic and political landscape across place. The phenomenal scale, speed, and spread of the migratory movement, coupled with the accelerating rate of globalization and technological development, has transformed how social relations are organized, performed and mobilized in the local, national, and transnational realms. It seems to have led to the formation of a connected, networked, pluralized, and according to some, decentered or flattening world. Yet, at the same time, we’ve also witnessed the entrenchment and emergence of old and new disconnects, divides, disparities and inequalities, all calling for a close engagement with flexible capitalism and (neo)colonialism. On the one hand, the social ideal associated with immigration has shifted from assimilation, which is one-way and one sided, to integration, supposedly a two-way process, with transnationalism looming always in the horizon. On the other hand, while multiculturalism has been a major policy discourse managing immigration and diversity, much of the global west, with the exception of Canada, has moved into an era of post-multiculturalism. All these have presented unprecedented opportunity as well as challenge for adult educators and cultural workers, especially those who work in the areas of vocational education, language training, employment support, immigrant settlement and workplace diversity management.


This course is designed to inquire into, drawing on interdisciplinary readings and research, the changing policies, practices, pedagogies and politics of adult education and learning, vis-à-vis multiple mobilities, super-diversity, and shifting social and material organization of work and life. Through this course, you will develop a critical appreciation of the context of immigration, integration, (post)-multiculturalism, (neo)colonialism, and transnationalism and its impacts on adult education and learning. You will expand your understanding of the politics of skills and recognition, the complex roles that adult education and learning plays in immigrants’ work and lives, as well as the power and problems of everyday pedagogies, everyday multiculturalism and convivial (dis)integration. You will also develop a repertoire of epistemic, pedagogical and research tools and skills in approaching issues of diversity, equity, and social justice in your educational practices. This course is suited for educational practitioners and researchers who are interested in learning about and challenging the status quo of adult education and learning as it relates to issues of immigration and integration.