Richard Desjardins

Richard Desjardins
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA · Department of Education

PhD Comparative Education, PhD Economics

About

87
Publications
60,209
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,323
Citations
Introduction
Dr. Richard Desjardins is a Professor of Education and Political Economy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) since 2013. He worked at the OECD between 2010-2013 on PIAAC (Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies), and has been involved in large scale assessment of adult skills for nearly 20 years, contributing to the international analysis and management of the 1994-1998 International Adult Literacy Survey and the 2003-2007 Adult Literacy and Lifeskill Survey. He has also been involved in education policy analysis related to education governance and provision structures, educational access and participation, learning outcomes and the impact of learning on economy and society for over 15 years.
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - present
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 2013 - June 2017
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2010 - September 2013
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Position
  • Analyst
Education
January 1998 - December 1998
Carleton University
Field of study
  • Economics
September 1992 - December 1998
Carleton University
Field of study
  • Economics

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Full-text available
Active ageing has become a policy concept that serves as an important response to the ageing of many societies, primarily because it is thought to lead to positive outcomes such as increased employment, productivity, health and other well‐being into older ages. This article presents results of an analysis of the relationship between attaining quali...
Article
Full-text available
This article outlines some recent evidence on the labour market outcomes of adult education from a global perspective. Evidence supports the idea that adult education has positive impacts on a wide range of labour market outcomes, including enhanced: employment and career prospects; performance and earnings; job satisfaction and commitment to work;...
Article
Full-text available
This article analyses comparative data from the 1994–1998 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the 2012 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). At the micro level, the author considers factors involved in the development of an individual person’s literacy from a lifecycle perspective. At the macro level,...
Book
Full-text available
This report focuses on the adult learning data that was collected as part of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills between 2012 and 2016, which has been a core activity of the ongoing OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). The objectives are to: present the data on adult learning made available by PIAAC; provide an...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that together Social Contract Pedagogy (SCP) and Global Citizenship Education (GCE) offer a comprehensive vision including key principles and core elements that are important for rethinking education and shaping the future of the world. We introduce the novel concept of Social Contract Pedagogy (SCP) as a means to adapt the social contra...
Book
Full-text available
Underscoring the complex relationship between civic engagement and education at all stages of life, this innovative Handbook identifies the contemporary challenges and best approaches and practices to encourage civic engagement within education. Chapters cover the theoretical and historical background of civic engagement and education, ideological...
Chapter
Full-text available
This contribution introduces the concept of Adult Learning Systems (ALS), provides a brief overview of some of the most salient patterns of participation for countries that participated in the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), discusses coordination problems associated with ALS, and summarizes some insti...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter elaborates on some of the shortcomings of strictly economistic approaches to education and skills and provides a brief overview of alternative scholarly contributions from a political economy perspective that have emerged since the late 1990s. It provides a critical analysis of neoclassical economic approaches to the political economy...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted learning globally, exacerbating regional and global disparities that predated the pandemic. This rupture presents a unique opportunity to reimagine our educational system in times of both calm and crisis. Drawing on the work of political scientist Kathleen Thelen and economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, this arti...
Article
Full-text available
In the Editorial of this issue, Miroslav Stefanik was accidentally stated as the single author of the article “Multi-layered Perspective on the Barriers to Learning Participation of Disadvantaged Adults”. The article is a joint authorship by Sofie Cabus, Petya Ilieva-Trichkova and Miroslav Stefanik
Article
Full-text available
The overall aim of this special issue is to contribute to the international discourse around literacy, numeracy, adult education and basic education. It engages with numeracy and mathematical literacy, New Literacy Studies, adult education, and lifelong learning in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both from th...
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have witnessed an increasing scholarly interest in the study of education, training, and skill formation from a comparative political economy perspective. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the emerging field of the political economy of adult learning systems, which seeks to understand the causes and consequences of cross-...
Chapter
Full-text available
Active ageing' has emerged as an important response to the ageing of many societies, in part because it is thought to lead to positive outcomes such as increased employment, productivity, health and other well-being into older ages. Education for adults in mid and later life can play a key role in fostering active ageing and positive outcomes. This...
Book
Full-text available
Emphasis on the acquisition and maintenance of literacy skills has grown due to mounting evidence of their importance to quality of life and overall societal productivity and social cohesion. This is one of the underlying motivations for the OECD’s Programme for the Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). Important goals of the PIAAC study are to...
Article
Full-text available
This comparative study examines patterns of inequality in participation in two different types of adult learning and education (ALE)-job-related formal ALE (JFALE) and job-related non-formal ALE (JNFALE)-as related to social origins at the micro-level and three categories of social inequality at the macro-level at the macro level (economic, educati...
Article
Full-text available
In conducting a literature review, this article explores changes to Adult Learning and Education (ALE) policies and related processes as well as the context within which those changes have taken place, so as to draw out comparative insights regarding the unequal distribution of participation in ALE. Emphasis is on an analysis of political prioritie...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter provides a critical overview of the contribution of economics to research and policy on adult education. It discusses three distinct political economy perspectives and links these to the shifting policy agenda related to adult education at the OECD over the last five decades. This is done to reveal the link between different political...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses some of the merits and challenges associated with a systemic approach to comparative adult education research which builds on the use of large scale efforts. It is partly in response to an article in last year’s issue of the International Yearbook of Adult Education which discussed the future of International Comparative Adult...
Chapter
Full-text available
One of the big surprises I had when I started working with the latest OECD data on adult skills was that there were hardly any changes in the overall literacy proficiency profiles across countries that had participated in both PIAAC (the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies conducted in 2012) and IALS (the International...
Book
Full-text available
Based on comparative adult education statistics offered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) and country case studies, this book analyses the policies and structures that foster adult learning. It examines a variety of forms of adult learning, ranging from initial forms of post-compulso...
Article
Full-text available
Using comparative data, this article examines the level and distribution of participation in adult education (AE) opportunities among countries that participated in PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies). It considers observed cross-country patterns in relation to some mechanisms that drive unequal chances to parti...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is a pre-final draft of the chapter on Labour market outcomes to adult education to be published as part of the UNESCO Third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education. Suggested citation: Desjardins, R., & Singh, M. (in press). Labour market outcomes of adult education. In Schuller, T., & Rubenson, K. (Eds), Third Global Report on Adult Le...
Article
Full-text available
Educational systems contain both transformative and reproductive elements. The balance and tensions between these has varied extensively over time and continues to vary across countries and the world’s region. Ideally, education would reproduce the “good” and transform the “bad”, but “good” and “bad” are value based and inherently political in natu...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the relative importance of different socio-demographic and practice-oriented factors that are related to proficiency in problem solving in technology-rich environments (PSTREs) and by extension may be related to complex problem solving (CPS). The empirical analysis focuses on the proficiency measurements of PSTRE made availabl...
Article
Full-text available
This article briefly reviews the evolving role of major institutions thought to form, reproduce and transform individual as well as collective identities and values, with an emphasis on the impact of state vs market forces via educational systems. This is accompanied by a discussion of various pressures against the state to exert social control on...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper assesses the extent to which the PIAAC 2012 Background Questionnaire (BQ) meets its analytic goals, that is, to provide information that helps understand:  The antecedents and outcomes of proficiency in information processing skills;  The practices that are associated with the development and maintenance of proficiency;  The use of ge...
Chapter
Full-text available
PIAAC is an international assessment of the foundation skills of the adult population managed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Its aim is to provide information which supports the design, implementation and evaluation of policies which foster the development and use of competencies to achieve economic, social and...
Book
Full-text available
This thesis is a collection of three independent but closely related studies. The focus is on the potential causes of skill mismatch, the extent of skill mismatch, the socio-demographic make-up of skill mismatch, and the consequences of skill mismatch in terms of earnings as well as employer sponsored adult education/training. A distinction is made...
Article
Full-text available
This study considers the extensive critique of the impact of the ‘market’ or ‘neoliberal’ model on learning and its outcomes in the light of alternative models. The purpose is to consider the potential impacts of the market on learning and its outcomes and to contextualise critique by considering alternative coordination regimes. Three alternative...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter assesses critically the state of investment in AE by summarizing the state of financing in AE worldwide, reviewing achievements since the 1997 Hamburg Declaration on Adult Education, and considering results of the 2009 CONFINTEA VI conference in Belem. It outlines key problems and constraints as well as ways forward.
Article
Full-text available
This article considers the role of diverse institutions in framing adult learning systems. The focus is on institutional characteristics and configurations in different countries and their potential impact on the extent of adult learning, as well as on inequalities in access to adult learning. Typologies of education and training systems as well as...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on evidence regarding cross-national patterns of participation in adult education and an interpretation of these patterns from an institutional and public policy perspective. The interpretation follows from the perspective that sustaining high and widely distributed levels of investment in the development and maintenance of ski...
Book
Full-text available
Recognising both the complexity of skills policies and the potential for peer learning, the OECD has developed a global skills strategy that helps countries to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their national skills systems, benchmark them internationally, and develop policies that can transform better skills into better jobs, economic growt...
Chapter
Full-text available
En av de største utfordringene unge og voksne innvandrere møter, er å laere seg et nytt språk. Vi har forskningsmessig belegg for å si at innvandreres ferdigheter i å mestre sitt nye språk er av betydning for mulighetene til å få innpass i og fun-gere i arbeidslivet i det landet man har flyttet til. Innvandreres kompetanse med hensyn til å mestre s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Introduction Strong and shared growth increasingly depend on the capacity of nations to develop, deploy and upgrade the skills of their citizens. Within this context, the following places an emphasis on three focal points for education systems in the 21 st century. The first focus is on essential skills. The second focus is on the effectiveness of...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores the issue of skill mismatch in the labour market and its relationship to adult learning. The extent and distribution of mismatch between the day to day literacy related requirements of workers and the literacy skills they have obtained is an important issue that can be addressed with the ALL data. Understanding better the inte...
Chapter
Full-text available
The purpose of this chapter is to explore performance across multiple skill domains. The analysis investigates the skill profiles of various population groups who score at levels deemed to be low in one or more skill domains. A key question is whether the characteristics of those who score low in one skill domain are distinct from those who score l...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article discusses the measurement of the social outcomes of learning. It extends the discussion beyond employment and labor market outcomes to consider the impact of adult learning on social domains, with particular focus on health and civic engagement. It emphasizes the distinction between public and private, and monetary and nonmonetary bene...
Book
Full-text available
The focus of this study is on the potential causes of skill mismatch, the extent of skill mismatch, the sociodemographic make-up of skill mismatch, and the consequences of skill mismatch in terms of earnings as well as employer sponsored adult education/training. A distinction is made between skill mismatch and education mismatch. The analysis is b...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article presents an internationally comparative overview of adult learning patterns. Emphasis is placed on who is participating in adult learning and the observed unequal chances to participate. The article covers three overarching questions that are central to participation research: (1) What is the extent of participation? (2) Who is partici...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this study is to examine the role of lifelong educational and learning practices and resources in enabling health literacy. A subsample of older adults (n = 2,979) derived from the 2003 seven country IALSS (Canadian survey) was used. An expanded Andersen-Newman model that included lifelong learning enabling factors was used to develop p...
Book
Full-text available
This report presents a non-technical overview of how economists think about literacy, reviews evidence about educational attainment, the quality of the workforce and the economic value of literacy in Portugal, and explores policy options for ensuring that the supply of literacy skill meets expected levels of skill demand. Economic theory backed up...
Article
Quantitative and qualitative findings on barriers to participation in adult education are reviewed and some of the defining parameters that may explain observed national differences are considered. A theoretical perspective based on bounded agency is put forth to take account of the interaction between structurally and individually based barriers t...
Book
This book brings together a series of contributions which surround two interrelated topics: 1) recent political economic changes affecting education policy-making processes including the ascension of neo liberalism and the transnationalisation of education policy-making; and, 2) the tension between research of policy vs research for policy. Working...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book brings together a series of contributions which surround two interrelated topics: 1) recent political economic changes affecting education policy making processes including the ascension of neoliberalism and the transnationalization of education policy making; and, 2) the tension between research of policy vs research for policy. Working...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter anchors one of the overarching themes that is developed throughout the book, namely that education policy is increasingly interlinked and subjected to economic policy. Education has been thought to be important for economic policy since the days of Adam Smith but this importance has intensified since the 1950s and especially since the...
Article
This article focuses on some of the conceptual and empirical issues relating to the links between education and well-being. Recent research has made progress in this area, despite the complexity and the limitations of available measurements and other observations. The first part discusses the ill-defined nature of education and the negative implica...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper briefly reviews some of evidence on participation patterns in Nordic countries and some of the defining parameters that may explain the observations. This is done in a comparative perspective by contrasting results from the 2003 Eurobarometer data between Nordic countries and a handful of non-Nordic countries. An emphasis is placed on th...
Book
Full-text available
Incl. tables and bibl. references Change is at the heart of modern society, and continuous learning is key to deal with it. Those that can adapt will be resilient, survive and have a chance to flourish. Those that can not will become vulnerable and dependent. The future economic and social success of any society will rely on policies that support a...
Article
Full-text available
This paper brings together some key concepts and proposes a conceptual framework for understanding and evaluating determinants of learning outcomes. The framework facilitates the process of theorizing and hypothesizing on the relationships and processes concerning lifelong learning as well as their antecedents and consequences. The specific aims ar...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores the relationship between different types of jobs, job tasks, and skills. First, the skill distributions of the workforce in technology- and knowledge-intensive industries are compared to other sectors. Similarly, the skills of workers in knowledge-intensive occupations are compared to those in other types of occupations. Secon...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines economic outcomes associated with differences in observed skills. First, the rewards to literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills on labour markets are studied with a structural model that specifies the joint determination of personal earnings, education and cognitive skills. Second, the likelihood of receiving social assi...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on the skills of labour force participants. First, the difference in workers’ skills between the top and bottom 25 per cent of performers is compared. This allows for a comparative assessment of the skills supplied in the labour market. Second, the employability of working-age adults is studied. This is done by comparing the li...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents a comparative perspective on the levels and distributions of adult skills in four domains – prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem solving – for the countries that collected data in the first round of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL). The first part of the analysis displays the basic country dis...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines the relationship between individual educational experiences and observed measures of skill. First, evidence of a strong positive association between skills and educational attainment is established. Both theory and evidence suggest that education plays a key role in the formation of the skills measured in ALL, but the imperfec...