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Lo(o)s(en)ing the Boundaries: from “education” to “lifelong learning”

Edwards R & Usher R (1998) Lo(o)s(en)ing the Boundaries: from “education” to “lifelong learning” , Studies in Continuing Education, 20 (1), pp. 83-103.

In this paper, we survey the contemporary movement away from traditional educational forms to the new discourses and practices associated with the term "lifelong learning". We relate this movement to the sense of crisis which seems to be present in the post‐compulsory and higher education sectors. We locate it in the technological, economic and cultural changes which characterise the postmodern condition and the questioning of the grand narratives which have sustained education in modernity. We examine how these changes are effecting education in terms of trends such as vocationalisation, marketisation, the commodification of knowledge, the individualising of learning and the challenging of the monopoly position of universities. We ask what "education" means when it is not a bounded field and what "learning" means in the more loosely bounded spaces of lifelong learning. We argue that the current situation is both exciting and troubling for educators requiring a redefinition of roles and purposes in a context which is complex and contradictory.

AuthorsEdwards Richard, Usher Robin
Publication date1998
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN 0158-037X

Studies in Continuing Education: Volume 20, Issue 1

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