The “learning turn” that has occurred in discussions of education and training is here subject to critique. The change of discourse signifies more than mere change of linguistic style, with claims being made to a new paradigm by proponents of what may be termed “learnerism”. The claims made by the advocates of learnerism for its rationality are subjected in this article to critical examination and shown to be untenable. The discourse of learnerism is further examined in terms of its rhetorical, ideological character. From this it is concluded that, far from being emancipatory, the discourse is oppressive.
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