International Review of Education

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 133–151 | Cite as

Lifelong learning: Foundational models, underlying assumptions and critiques

Article

Abstract

Lifelong learning has become a catchword in almost all countries because of its growing influence on education policies in the globalised world. In the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU), the promotion of lifelong learning has been a strategy to speed up economic growth and become competitive. For UNESCO and the World Bank, lifelong learning has been a novel education model to improve educational policies and programmes in developing countries. In the existing body of literature on the topic, various models of lifelong learning are discussed. After reviewing a number of relevant seminal texts by proponents of a variety of schools, this paper argues that the vast number of approaches are actually built on two foundational models, which the author calls the “human capital model” and the “humanistic model”. The former aims to increase productive capacity by encouraging competition, privatisation and human capital formation so as to enhance economic growth. The latter aims to strengthen democracy and social welfare by fostering citizenship education, building social capital and expanding capability.

Keywords

Lifelong learning Human capital Social capital Humanistic model Competitiveness Privatisation Citizenship education Capability approach 

Résumé

Apprentissage tout au long de la vie : modèles de base, hypothèses sous-jacentes et critiques – L’apprentissage tout au long de la vie est devenu un mot d’ordre dans presque tous les pays en raison de son influence croissante sur les politiques éducatives dans un monde planétarisé. Pour l’Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques (OCDE) et pour l’Union européenne (UE), promouvoir l’apprentissage tout au long de la vie est une stratégie censée accélérer la croissance économique et améliorer la compétitivité. Pour l’UNESCO et la Banque mondiale, il constitue un modèle éducatif original susceptible d’améliorer les politiques et programmes éducatifs dans les pays en développement. Divers modèles d’apprentissage tout au long de la vie sont présentés dans le corpus de documentation existant sur le sujet. Après avoir recensé plusieurs textes majeurs rédigés par des adeptes de divers établissements scolaires, l’auteur avance que le grand nombre d’approches dans le domaine reposent finalement sur deux modèles de base, qu’il appelle « modèle capital humain » et « modèle humanitaire ». Le premier vise à augmenter la capacité productive en encourageant la concurrence, la privatisation et la création d’un capital humain de sorte à soutenir la croissance économique. Le second tend à renforcer la démocratie et la protection sociale en valorisant l’éducation à la citoyenneté, la création d’un capital social et l’extension des capacités.

References

  1. Aitchison, J. (2003). Adult literacy and basic education: A SADC regional perspective. Adult Education and Development, 60, 161–170.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson-Levitt, K. M. (2003). Local meanings, global schooling: Anthropology and world culture theory. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Antikainen, A. (2006). In search of the Nordic model in education. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 50(3), 229–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balatti, J., & Falk, I. (2002). Socioeconomic contributions of adult learning to community: A social capital perspective. Adult Education Quarterly, 52(4), 281–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ball, S. J. (2009). Privatising education, privatising education policy, privatising educational research: Network governance and the “competition state”. Journal of Education Policy, 24(1), 83–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Becker, G. S. (1962). Investment in human capital: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Political Economy, 70(5), 9–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Becker, G. S. (1975). Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis with special reference to education. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bélanger, P. (1995). Lifelong learning: The dialectics of “lifelong educations”. International Review of Education, 40(3–5), 353–381.Google Scholar
  9. Bhanji, Z. (2009). Transnational corporations in education: Filling the governance gap through new social norms and market multilateralism? Globalisation, Societies and Education, 6(1), 55–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Biesta, G. J. (2011). Learning democracy in school and society: Education, lifelong learning, and the politics of citizenship. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bjørnåvold, J. & Coles, M. (2007). Governing education and training: The case of qualifications frameworks. European Journal of Vocational Training, 42/43(3/1), 203–235.Google Scholar
  12. Blackmore, J. (2011). Bureaucratic, corporate/market and network governance: Shifting spaces for gender equity in education. Gender, Work & Organization, 18(5), 443–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bourdieu, P. & Passeron, J. C. (1977). Reproduction in education, society and culture (Translated from the French by R. Nice). London, UK: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  15. Brown, P. (2000). The globalisation of positional competition? Sociology, 34(4), 633–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Brown, P. (2003). The opportunity trap: Education and employment in a global economy. European Educational Research Journal, 2(1), 142–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brown, P., & Lauder, H. (2006). Globalisation, knowledge and the myth of the magnet economy. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 4(1), 25–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brown, P., & Tannock, S. (2009). Education, meritocracy and the global war for talent. Journal of Education Policy, 24(4), 377–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Carnoy, M. (1995). Structural adjustment and the changing face of education. International Labour Review, 134(6), 653–673.Google Scholar
  20. Chattopadhay, T. (2014). School as a site of student social capital: An exploratory study from Brazil. International Journal of Educational Development, 34(1), 67–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Coffield, F. (2000). Differing visions of a learning society: Research findings (Vol. 1). Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  22. Colardyn, D., & Bjørnåvold, J. (2004). Validation of formal, non-formal, and informal learning: Policy and practices in EU member states. European Journal of Education, 39(1), 70–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Colclough, C. (1996). Education and the market: Which parts of the neoliberal solution are correct? World Development, 24(4), 589–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94(Supplement), S95–S120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Coombs, P. H. (1985). The world crisis in education: The view from the eighties. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Council of the European Union (2010). Council conclusions of 11 May 2010 on competences supporting lifelong learning and the “new skills for new jobs” initiative. Official Journal of the European Union, C 135, 26.5.2010, pp. 8–11.Google Scholar
  27. Delors, J., Mufti, I. A., Amagi, I., Carneiro, R., Chung, F., Geremek, B., et al. (1996). Learning: The treasure within. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  28. EC (European Commission) (1994). Growth, competitiveness, and employment: The challenges and ways forward into the 21st century. White paper. Luxembourg/Lanham, MD: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities/Unipub.Google Scholar
  29. EC (2000). Commission staff working paper. A memorandum on lifelong learning. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  30. Esping-Andersen, G. (1989). The three political economies of the welfare state. Canadian Review of Sociology, 26(1), 10–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Faure, E., Herrera, F., Kaddoura, A.-R., Lopes, H., Petrovsky, A. V., Rahnema, M., & Ward, F. C. (1972). Learning to be: The world of education today and tomorrow. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  32. Field, J. (1999). Human capital and social capital in Northern Ireland: Linking schools achievement and lifelong learning. Irish Educational Studies, 18(1), 234–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Friedman, M. (1997). Public schools: Make them private. Education Economics, 5(3), 341–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Friedman, M. (2009). Capitalism and freedom. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  35. Fukuyama, F. (2002). Social capital and development: The coming agenda. SAIS review, 22(1), 23–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Green, A. (2006). Models of lifelong learning and the “knowledge society”. Compare: A journal of comparative education, 36(3), 307–325.Google Scholar
  37. Hillage, J., & Pollard, E. (1998). Employability: Developing a framework for policy analysis. London: Institute for Employment Studies.Google Scholar
  38. HM Treasury (2006). Prosperity for all in the global economy: World class skills. Final report. Leitch review of skills. London, UK: HM Treasury, The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  39. Husen, T. (1974). The learning society. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  40. Hutton, W. (1995). The state we’re in. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  41. ICAE (International Council for Adult Education). (2013). Mission statement of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE). Retrieved 19 November 2013. from http://www.icae2.org/index.php/en/about-us/mission.
  42. Kilgore, D. (1999). Understanding learning in social movements: A theory of collective learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 18(3), 191–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Koper, R., Giesbers, B., van Rosmalen, P., Sloep, P., van Bruggen, J., Tattersall, C., et al. (2005). A design model for lifelong learning networks. Interactive Learning Environment, 13(1–2), 71–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. MacCallum, G. C. (1967). Negative and positive freedom. The Philosophical Review, 76(3), 312–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Migheli, M. (2011). Capabilities and functionings: The role of social capital for accessing new capabilities. Review of Political Economy, 23(1), 133–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nussbaum, M. (2002). Capabilities and social justice. International Studies Review, 4(2), 123–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nussbaum, M. (2003). Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice. Feminist Economics, 9(2/3), 33–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nussbaum, M. (2011). Creating capabilities: The human development approach. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Odora Hoppers, C. A. (2009). From bandit colonialism to the modern triage society: Towards a moral and cognitive reconstruction of knowledge and citizenship. International Journal of African Renaissance Studies, 4(2), 168–180.Google Scholar
  50. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (1961). Policy conference on economic growth and investment in education, Washington 16–20 October. Summary report and conclusions. Keynote speeches. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  51. OECD (1989). Education and the economy in a changing society. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  52. OECD (1996). Lifelong learning for all: Meeting of the Education Committee at ministerial level, 16–17 January 1996. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  53. OECD (2011). Strong performers and successful reformers in education: Lessons from PISA for the United States. Paris: OECD.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. OECD (2013). OECD skills outlook 2013: First results from the survey of adult skills. Paris: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
  55. Olaniyan, D. A., & Okemakinde, T. (2008). Human capital theory: Implications for educational development. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 5(5), 479–483.Google Scholar
  56. Pawson, R. (2006). Evidence-based policy: A realist perspective. London: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  57. Preece, J. (2009). Lifelong learning and development: A southern perspective. New York, NY: Continuum.Google Scholar
  58. Psacharopoulos, G. (1972). Rates of return to investment in education around the world. Comparative Education Review, 16(1), 54–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Putnam, R. D. (1994). Social capital and public affairs. Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 47(8), 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Putnam, R. D. (1995). Tuning in, tuning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in America. Political Science and Politics, 28(4), 664–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Raduntz, H. (2007). The marketization of education within the global capitalist economy. In M. W. Apple, J. Kenway, & M. Singh (Eds.), Globalizing education: Policies, pedagogies & politics (pp. 231–245). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.Google Scholar
  62. Ricardo, D. (1891). Principles of political economy and taxation.Edited, with an introduction, essay notes and appendices by E. C. K (Gonner ed.). London: G. Bell.Google Scholar
  63. Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing education policy. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Robertson, S., & Dale, R. (2013). The social justice implications of privatisation in education governance frameworks: A relational account. Oxford Review of Education, 39(4), 426–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Robertson, S., Mundy, K., & Verger, A. (2012). Public private partnerships in education: New actors and modes of governance in a globalizing world. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rubenson, K. (2004). Lifelong learning: A critical assessment of the political project. In P. Alheit, R. Becker-Schmidt, T. G. Johansen, L. Ploug, H. S. Oleson, & K. Rubenson (Eds.), Shaping an emerging reality: Researching lifelong learning (pp. 28–48). Roskilde: Roskilde University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Rubenson, K. (2006a). The Nordic model of lifelong learning. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 36(3), 327–341.Google Scholar
  68. Rubenson, K. (2006b). Constructing the lifelong learning paradigm: Competing visions from the OECD and UNESCO. In S. Ehlers (Ed.), Milestones towards lifelong learning systems (pp. 151–170). Copenhagen: Danish University of Education Press.Google Scholar
  69. Rubenson, K., & Desjardins, R. (2009). The impact of welfare state regimes on barriers to participation in adult education: A bounded agency model. Adult Education Quarterly, 59(3), 187–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Saito, M. (2003). Amartya Sen’s capability approach to education: A critical exploration. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 37(1), 17–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Schultz, T. W. (1960). Capital formation by education. Journal of Political Economy, 68(6), 571–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Schultz, T. W. (1961). Investment in human capital. The American Economic Review, 51(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
  73. Sen, A. (1997). Editorial: Human capital and human capability. World Development, 25(12), 1959–1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom. New York, NY: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  75. Smith, A. (1776). An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell.Google Scholar
  76. Spring, J. (2008). Globalization of education: An introduction. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  77. Stiglitz, J. E. (1999). Knowledge as a global public good. In I. Kaul, I. Grunberg & M. A. Stern (Eds), Global public goods: International cooperation in the 21st century (pp. 308–325). Published for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). New York, NY/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  78. Stiglitz, J. E. (2012). The price of inequality: How today’s divided society endangers our future. New York, NY: WW Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  79. Tikly, L. (2011). Towards a framework for researching the quality of education in low-income countries. Comparative Education, 47(1), 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Titmuss, R. M. (1974). Social policy: An introduction. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  81. Torres, A. C. (2011). Dancing on the deck of the Titanic? Adult education, the nation-state and New Social Movements. International Review of Education, 57(1), 39–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tuijnman, A. (2003). A “Nordic Model” of adult education: What might be its defining parameters? International Journal of Educational Research, 39(3), 283–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Tuijnman, A., & Boström, A.-K. (2002). Changing notions of lifelong education and lifelong learning. International Review of Education, 48(1), 93–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. UN (United Nations) (1948). Universal declaration of human rights. Retrieved 22 November 2014 from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a26.
  85. UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). (1990). Human development report 1990. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  86. Walker, M. (2006). Towards a capability-based theory of social justice for education policy-making. Journal of Education Policy, 21(2), 163–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. WEF (World Economic Forum). (2013). The global competitiveness report 2013–2014. Geneva: World Economic Forum.Google Scholar
  88. World Bank (2003). Lifelong learning in the global knowledge economy: Challenges for developing countries. Washington, DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. World Bank (2011). Learning for all: Investing in people’s knowledge and skills to promote development. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  90. Ziguras, C. (2007). International trade in education services: Governing the liberalization and regulation of private enterprise. In M. W. Apple, J. Kenway, & M. Singh (Eds.), Globalizing education: Policies, pedagogies, and politics (pp. 93–112). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations