It has been recognised since Adam Smith and Karl Marx’s pioneering work that the best way to understand any economy is to study the most advanced practices of production. For some time, the most innovative economic vanguard has been referred to globally as the knowledge economy – a term that now also encompasses developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Originally, a consensus formed among policymakers that the knowledge economy is a global reality to which all individuals and societies must adjust, and that lifelong learning is the optimal strategy to secure such an adjustment. Currently, this consensus is leading to scare stories about the ‘end of work’ and lifelong learning being repositioned as the strategy to assist people to live ‘creative’ lives.
The aim of The Knowledge Economy and Education book series is therefore to provide a focus for writers and readers interested in exploring the relationship between changes in the knowledge economy and learning practices, or an aspect of that relationship: for example, vocational, professional and workplace learning theorised critically.
The series seeks authors who are keen to question, conceptually and empirically, the hidden nature of the knowledge economy as well as the causal link that policymakers globally assume exists between education and the knowledge economy by raising: (i) epistemological issues as regards the concepts of, production of, and the relations between knowledge, the knowledge economy and education; (ii) sociological and political economic issues as regards the changing nature of work, technology (including AI), learning, and possible alternative visions of what a knowledge economy/knowledge society might look like; and (iii) the contribution education, communities, and workplaces could make to realising those visions.
The series is particularly aimed at researchers, policymakers, practitioners and students since it hopes to stimulate debate amongst this diverse audience by publishing books that (i) articulate alternative visions of the relation between education and the knowledge economy, (ii) offer new insights into the extent, modes, and effectiveness of the forms of knowledge and learning (including the development of AI) that people in the developed and developing world will need to respond to, and (iii) suggest how changes in both work conditions, curriculum and pedagogy can spur fresh thinking about the relation between work and learning.