Community education in the Republic of Ireland exists in several forms and in several sites. This article draws on two qualitative research projects in community education to identify the practices of the social model of community education that link them. The context of the research is the impact of policy changes as experienced by the practitioners and providers. The social model can be spoken of in different terms, depending on the practice of the speaker; it can be a process model of curriculum, critical literacy, or feminist emancipatory pedagogy. The article describes different discourses of practice and considers how practitioners could, while differentiating aspects of their practice, find common ground and resist the erosion of adult education for social justice by the state’s drive for vocational education for the labour market.
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