Lifelong learning

English: Taito-ku Lifelong Learning Center(Nis...

English: Taito-ku Lifelong Learning Center(Nishiasakusa,Taito,Tokyo)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The idea of lifelong education was first fully articulated in this century by Basil Yeaxlee (1929). He along with Eduard Lindeman (1926) provided an intellectual basis for a comprehensive understanding of education as a continuing aspect of everyday life. In this they touched upon various continental traditions such as the French notion of education permanente and drew upon developments within adult education within Britain and North America. In more recent years we have seen a shift into discussion of lifelong learning and the more problematic notion of informal learning. Here we examine the development of thinking about lifelong education and learning – and highlight some issues with the interest shown by policymakers in the notions.
Lifelong learning‘ is a problematic notion. So is it worth pursuing? There are three main reasons why we should continue to speak and write about it :
  • It is important to retain the aspirations it contains. Learning continually throughout life is vital if we are to make informed choices about our lives and the societies in which we live
  • Despite the weaknesses and confusions of current policies something new is happening.  There have been significant shifts in policies and these require interrogation; and there have been major changes in the ways in which we approach learning
  • Lifelong learning is now a mechanism for exclusion and control. As well as facilitating development it has created new and powerful inequalities. There are issues around access to knowledge; and individualization. In knowledge-based economy, those who have the lowest levels of skill and the weakest capacity for constant updating are lees and less likely to find paid employment. Individualization has also meant that access to social support mechanisms has weakened.
There are all sorts of debates around these questions aand the term has entered discourse in such a way that it would be foolish to ignore it. Furthermore, the idea that learning has to be supported and encouraged throughout the life course, as Yeaxlee (1921, 1929) recognized, is of fundamental importance.
The European Commission takes mesures in the lifelong learning development. The European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme enables people at all stages of their lives to take part in stimulating learning experiences, as well as helping to develop the education and training sector across Europe.
You can see more about it here.
Cecilia Cañedo-Argüelles also has her opinion on lifelong learning which she exposed at the International Meeting of Youth in Gijón. You can see her presentation here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s