This study develops a role for nonformal education consonant with recent thinking on Third World development: nonformal education as an empowering process. A consideration of nonformal education's relationship to the new concepts of development is particularly important today. The effectiveness of traditional models of development has been seriously questioned and new approaches have been defined. As a development sector, nonformal education should adapt to these new definitions.
The first part of the study establishes a rationale for the role of empowering. The second part evolves both the concept and practice of nonformal education as an empowering process.
To build the rationale, the study begins by discussing new perspectives on the causes of underdevelopment and on the meaning of development, all of which is summarized by a concept called "another development." Next, the work of several institutions and individuals involved in conceptualizing nonformal education is examined in an attempt to discover a role for nonformal education which is consonant with "another development." The role which emerges is one that enables people to develop skills and capabilities which increase their control over decisions, resources, and structures affecting their lives. For the purposes of this study, this role is termed "empowering" and the means by which the role is fulfilled is an "empowering process."
Center for International Education