Mathematics Education for Adults: Can It Reduce Inequality in Society?

  • Wolfgang Schlöglmann
Part of the Advances in Mathematics Education book series (AME)


Adult education in mathematics is considered from a number of perspectives. It is a key element in the general concept of lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is essential in a rapidly changing economic and technological world. For example, quickly changing production conditions in companies lead to quickly changing demands on skills possessed by company employees. Skills that are taught in schools and institutions of vocational education also need to be adapted to fulfil the requirements of a changing job environment. Lifelong learning is a process that corrects omissions in basic education. In this sense, lifelong learning is viewed as an opportunity to reduce societal inequalities. However, not only is economic life changing, but conditions within society are changing, too. In this essay it will be argued that lifelong learning is undoubtedly a prerequisite for making democratic participation possible for all members of a society. All adult learners have a learning history that is intimately connected with their experience of learning at school. The school experience has a great influence on learning as adults, particularly if the adult is forced to, acquire new skills because of unemployment. In this chapter we begin with a discussion of the general conditions of lifelong learning. We continue with an account of the role played by mathematics in societies. We then conclude with problems faced by adult learners of mathematics.


Mathematics Education Lifelong Learning Mathematical Object Mathematics Learning Adult Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität LinzLinzAustria

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