Supporting Lifelong Learning - Vol. 3

Supporting Lifelong Learning - Vol. 3

Supporting Lifelong Learning - Vol. 3

Supporting Lifelong Learning - Vol. 3

Synopsis

This volume of the Open University Reader for Supporting Lifelong Learning looks at policy developmentnbsp; at local, regional, national and international levels, exploring the policy contextnbsp;of lifelong learning, and then turn to the policies themselves and their effects when implemented. The central focus of the book is the role of lifelong learning policy in relation to competitiveness, technological change and social inclusion. With contributions from experts around the world, the Reader offers a unique basis for comparison, and the writers encouragee the student to evaluate lifelong learning as a response to the trend of globalization innbsp;educational policy.

Excerpt

Making policy work in lifelong learning

Richard Edwards, Nod Miller, Nick Small and Alan Tait

Lifelong learning has become a significant topic of policy and academic debate in the last ten years. Many national governments have moved to develop policies to support notions of lifelong learning, encouraged and supported by international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU). in relation to a range of economic and social challenges, lifelong learning is increasingly posited, at least in part, as a solution. If people are given the opportunities to engage in lifelong learning and become lifelong learners, so it is said, the challenges they face in the coming century may be ameliorated if not overcome altogether.

The contemporary interest in lifelong learning should not cloud recognition that in earlier periods there have been similar eruptions of policy interest in lifelong learning. in the 1970s, notions of lifelong education and recurrent education were promoted by organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and oecd. For countries emerging from colonization, lifelong education was conceived as a fundamental human right and part of the strategy for economic modernization and development. Recurrent education was based on a more straightforwardly economistic rationale aimed at supporting the development of capitalist economies. However, while these notions were promulgated internationally, they had little impact on most national policy making. It is only since the 1990s that lifelong learning has become a significant part of policy development - and the shift in discourse is significant, as Colin Griffin argues in his chapter. With the development of contemporary lifelong learning discourse has come the development of a greater body of work concerned with lifelong learning policies. the collection provided here is an attempt to give a flavour of the breadth and depth of such work, drawing on a range of literature from around the globe that addresses some of the policy issues in lifelong learning.

The Introduction was written especially for this volume.

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