Lifelong Learning in Action: Transforming Education in the 21st Century

Lifelong Learning in Action: Transforming Education in the 21st Century

Lifelong Learning in Action: Transforming Education in the 21st Century

Lifelong Learning in Action: Transforming Education in the 21st Century


Since the concept of lifelong learning came to prominence much excellent work has been undertaken, but as Professor Longworth's new book shows major change in some areas is still needed if the concept of learning from cradle to grave is to become a true reality. Using his vantage point from consulting with schools, universities, local, governmental and global authorities, Professor Longworth brings the development of lifelong learning up-to-date with a complete survey of the principles of lifelong learning, examples from around the world and crucial information on the impact of lifelong learning on 21st century schools.


My grandfather was born in the 1880s, a time when the world order was pretty well set in Victorian concrete. Britain ruled the waves, the Queen was undisputed head of an empire made affluent by its industry and its overseas possessions, and less than half of his countrymen could read, mostly, but not exclusively, the male half. Local events were all-in the absence of radio, television and readable newspapers, the world was a million miles away, a territory to be dealt with by politicians and those born to deal with those sorts of things. After leaving school at the age of 13 he went to work as an apprentice in a cotton spinning factory. He and my grandmother raised a family of three boys and two girls in a small back-to-back, two-up, two-down house in Bolton in the North-west of England. Today Bolton is a part of Greater Manchester-in those days Manchester was 11 miles away in another world of strangers and unknown and unwanted problems.

His eyes were first opened to this other world during the First World War, when he, like so many of his generation anxious to escape from the clogging poverty and intractable problems of the industrial North of England, enlisted, and he found himself dodging the bullets to carry the wounded and the dead from the grim battlefields of Ypres and Passchendaele in Belgium.

Unlike so many of his compatriots, he survived, a little wiser and a lot deafer, and resumed his job as a cotton spinner. He walked the three miles to work every morning and home every evening because there was no other way to get there that he could afford. He did more or less the same job day after day for 40 years. He doffed, he cocked, he tended and he span the fine cottons for which Bolton was known throughout the world-and he learned how to do this from sitting with Nellie for two days before being let loose on his own spinning machine. The noise in the spinning shed was loud and uncompromising and did little to alleviate the deafness he had contracted in the trenches.

Despite all this he was a superb pianist who could play without music any of the tunes from the shows of the 1880s when he was born, to the 1920s, when everything became new-fangled and immoral. He acted as choir-master to the

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