‘Men learning through life’ NIACE book released in 2014

“280 page book, Men learning through life (prices and order details in Great Britain Pounds), now published by NIACE in the UK in Feb 2014, launched in UK and Ireland late February, for launch in Australia 23/24 April.

Flyers about the book with information to order copies are also available for other countries:

Extracts from two recent reviews:

‘ A useful book providing a theoretical background plus practical suggestions to enhance teaching and learning options for males outside formal settings.‘ (Matt Bennett)  The Australian TAFE Teacher Winter 2014.

I have pondered why we have been so slow to look beyond classrooms for places to engage with learners. So this is a book I have been waiting to read and it does not disappoint,

This is an important and refreshing book that urges us to take male friendly learning places seriously. But it does more than this. It gives both research evidence and concrete examples how this can be done, and is being done in Australia and internationally. …. These spaces give men a place to feel safe and be themselves, surely we want this for all our learners.’ Fine Print (VALBEC)  2014, Vol. 37 #2 (Pauline O’Malley, Australia).

‘Men Learning through Life’ ….does make a significant contribution to our understanding of men’s learning in informal settings. It is a useful book for someone who has an interest in how we can make men’s leaning more successful, and how we can encourage more men into ongoing learning. Book Review, ACE Aotearoa Summer Newsletter 2014, p. 12 (Peter McNeur, New Zealand).

The book is edited by Professor Barry Golding ( Federation University Australia), Dr Rob Mark  (University of Strathclyde, Scotland) & Dr Annette Foley (Federation University Australia) with contributed national chapters including eleven other researchers across seven world nations.

2014 Launch dates  (those editors and Chapter authors attending are indicated):


21 Feb University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland (Barry Golding, Rob Mark, John Evoy)


  • 25 Feb The Oak Room, the Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland info here , a men’s shed networking event and book launch, Ireland, coordinated by the Irish Men’s Sheds Association (Barry Golding, Rob Mark, Lucia Carragher & John Evoy)
  • 2pm 27 Feb (Thursday) Belfast, Northern Ireland, after the WEA ‘Man Matters’ Forum in Crumlin Gaol (Barry Golding, Rob Mark, Lucia Carragher).


  • Centre for Ageing Research, Lancaster University, England, Thursday 20 February 2014 (Barry Golding)
  • Monday 31st March 2014, at a Conference on ‘A Socially Mobile Scotland?’ Social Mobility and Widening Access to Higher Education in Scotland: Policy, Practice and Research. (Rob Mark)
  • 11-12 April, at the  The  University  Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) annual Conference. in London.


  • Wednesday 23 April 2014, hosted by Federation University Australia (Barry Golding, Rob Mark, Annette Foley), with Prof John McDonald officiating and The Hon Steve Bracks, ex Premier of Victoria conducting the launch. Post Office Gallery, corner Sturt & Lydiard Streets, Ballarat
  • in Melbourne  as part of a Forum on ‘Learning and wellbeing across the generations’ at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Brunswick (Father Tucker’s Room, 49 Brunswick Street) (Barry Golding, Rob Mark, Annette Foley).

Men learning through life Book Outline

Contributed national chapters are  from Ireland (Dr Lucia Carragher, John Evoy & Dr Rob Mark), UK (Dr Rob Mark & Jim Soulsby), Portugal (Dr António Fragoso, Dr João Filipe Marques & Milene Lança), Greece  (Dr George K. Zarifis),  China (Professor Tingyan Zhao, Dr Aijing Jin, Liang Hua & Prof Barry Golding), Australia (Professor Barry Golding) and New Zealand (Professor Brian Findsen).

Part 1, comprising most of the first half of the book (Chapters 1 to 8) introduces and critically analyses some of the international research evidence surrounding men’s learning. An introductory Chapter 1 provides a broad rationale and theoretical framework for analysing men’s learning. The balance of the Chapters in Part 1 are organised around themes relating to men’s learning. Specifically, these chapters discuss men’s learning: in international settings (Chapter 2), as it relates to learning and health and wellbeing (Chapter 3, Professor John Macdonald) and men’s literacies (Chapter 4, Rob Mark). Given the contested nature of ‘men’s turn to learn’ arguments, Chapter 5 makes a case for some places and spaces for men’s learning for men, particularly for those men beyond paid work (Chapter 6, Annette Foley), at different ages and stages (Chapter 7, Annette Foley & Barry Golding) and through men’s sheds in community settings (Chapter 8, Barry Golding).

Part 2 includes seven chapters (Chapter 9 to 15), each focused on aspects of men’s learning across seven nations located in three continents: in Europe (UK, Ireland, Portugal, Greece), Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) and Asia (China). Each chapter, contributed or led by researchers based in those nations, is framed around recent research evidence that points towards practical initiatives and policies that increases men’s level of engagement in learning in that national context. Given our book’s theme, Men Learning Through Life, Part 2 seeks to identify new, practical and creative ways of working and engaging men of all ages. Several of these Chapters point to new ways of involving men in communities of practice as active participants in shaping their own learning.

Each of the seven national Chapters in Part 2 has been written around four broad research questions, but customised by diverse researchers using different theoretical perspectives, as appropriate to very diverse national contexts and available data.

  1. • What prevailing socio-cultural factors affect men and their learning?
  2. • What is the current learning and wellbeing situation for men?
  3. • What practical initiatives encourage men’s learning?
  4. • In what ways are policy, practice and research shaped to accommodate men’s learning?

The book’s three editors contribute the final Chapter 16. It includes a discussion and conclusions. It seeks to identify and summarise what can be said about policy, practice and research into men’s learning in the international context. It also identifies examples of good policies or practices in men’s learning that can be shared in the international arena.

Author: barrygoanna

Honorary Professor, Federation University Australia: researcher in men's learning through community contexts, author of 'Men learning through life' 2014) book (NIACE, UK), 'The Men's Shed Movement: The Company of Men' (2015) & 'Shoulder to Shoulder: Broadening the Men's Shed Movement' (2021) books, both published Common Ground Publishing, US.

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