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Learning as a Vehicle for Individual and Social Transformation: Rethinking Leisure Education

Sherry L. Dupuis, Jennifer Gillies


Traditional approaches to leisure education often exclude marginalised groups in decision making, instead relying on the “expertise” of leisure professionals in determining what is to be taught and how. These approaches are often inappropriate and inadequate to meet the needs of marginalised groups and often exclude those who are thought to lack the capacity for learning, such as persons with dementia. Using data from a systematic evaluation of learning and sharing forums designed by and for persons with dementia partnering with family and professional care partners, the purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to present an alternative approach to leisure education, one informed by and integrating understandings from the radical education tradition and critical pedagogy; and (2) to share research findings that demonstrate the power of alternative approaches to learning in not only promoting personal growth but in enhancing social relationships and triggering broader social change.


leisure education; critical pedagogy; radical education; dementia; authentic partnerships

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