Lifelong learning

From GOETE Glossary
Jump to: navigation, search

The concept of lifelong learning refers primarily to a policy discourse of education promoted by supranational institutions like the UN, the OECD and the EU since the 1970s. It is on the one hand connected to the flexibilisation of work, on the other hand to the de-standardisation of the life course. Social inclusion in the knowledge society can no longer rely on formal education in childhood and youth only but needs to extend across the life span as well as lifewide across formal, non-formal and informal contexts. Lifelong learning is being as a mechanism of educational governance by which responsibility for educational trajectories is shifting from the state to the individuals. The individualisation of learning on the one hand requires biographicity as the competence of reflecting the individual learning biography. On the other hand it does not imply equal opportunities but different options of access according to prior education, employment status, gender and ethnicity. While lifeling learning is being discussed as general modelö and discourse, comparative research has revealed signifcant cross national differences in how it is being interpreted and set into practice.

GOETE lifelong learning refers to the fundamental changes in the goverance of educational trajectories which affect also school children.


Field, John (2000): Lifelong Learning and the New Educational Order. Stoke on Trent (UK): Trentham Books.

Jarvis, Peter (ed.) (2008): The Routledge International Handbook of Lifelong Learning. London: Routledge.

Kuhn, Michael (2007): New Society Models for a new Millenium. The Learning Society in Europe and beyond. New York et al.: Peter Lang.

(Andreas Walther and Risto Rinne)