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Lifelong learning and lifelong education: a critique

Lifelong learning and lifelong education: a critique
Lifelong learning and lifelong education: a critique
It is suddenly fashionable in political circles in the United Kingdom (and elsewhere) to talk about lifelong learning and lifelong education. This seems to be the direct result of the present economic climate which has called into question many previous assumptions: job security has become an effective myth for most of those who can actually get work; long?term unemployment seems to have become structural and permanent. Consequently, the notions of lifelong learning and lifelong education have taken on dimensions far removed from the almost Utopian ideals of their supporters in the years following the publication of the report Learning to Be. Given the current economic gloom, the popularity of the terms with politicians and the fact of being in the European Year of Lifelong Learning, it is perhaps appropriate to take stock of the whole notion of lifelong learning and lifelong education and to see just what meaning (if any) lies behind these words and where they might take us in the future. This essay lays its foundations in the historical background to the ideas of lifelong learning and lifelong education before moving onto a critique of the post?Faure advocates of the principles. It discusses various problems inherent in the concepts (such as lifelong inadequacy) before concluding that, although many of the difficulties in the concepts are due to the confused nature of adult education itself (e.g. is it education or leisure?), there is a greater need than ever for sustained efforts in favour of lifelong education to help to restore the hope which seems to have become a rare commodity among an all too large section of society.
1359-6748
219-236
Matheson, David
9b9928f0-3779-439c-9a22-a71d8795c77c
Matheson, Catherine
609d16bf-fe81-4fcd-8f6c-91431c55a9fc
Matheson, David
9b9928f0-3779-439c-9a22-a71d8795c77c
Matheson, Catherine
609d16bf-fe81-4fcd-8f6c-91431c55a9fc

Matheson, David and Matheson, Catherine (1996) Lifelong learning and lifelong education: a critique. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 1 (2), 219-236. (doi:10.1080/1359674960010207).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It is suddenly fashionable in political circles in the United Kingdom (and elsewhere) to talk about lifelong learning and lifelong education. This seems to be the direct result of the present economic climate which has called into question many previous assumptions: job security has become an effective myth for most of those who can actually get work; long?term unemployment seems to have become structural and permanent. Consequently, the notions of lifelong learning and lifelong education have taken on dimensions far removed from the almost Utopian ideals of their supporters in the years following the publication of the report Learning to Be. Given the current economic gloom, the popularity of the terms with politicians and the fact of being in the European Year of Lifelong Learning, it is perhaps appropriate to take stock of the whole notion of lifelong learning and lifelong education and to see just what meaning (if any) lies behind these words and where they might take us in the future. This essay lays its foundations in the historical background to the ideas of lifelong learning and lifelong education before moving onto a critique of the post?Faure advocates of the principles. It discusses various problems inherent in the concepts (such as lifelong inadequacy) before concluding that, although many of the difficulties in the concepts are due to the confused nature of adult education itself (e.g. is it education or leisure?), there is a greater need than ever for sustained efforts in favour of lifelong education to help to restore the hope which seems to have become a rare commodity among an all too large section of society.

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Published date: 1996
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 384184
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/384184
ISSN: 1359-6748
PURE UUID: 0cefa53c-4f95-4ea6-97ce-9ac3875f8a1c

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Date deposited: 21 Dec 2015 10:14
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 20:26

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