ERIC Number: ED343048
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-24
Lifelong Education for the Challenges of a Rich and Varied Future: What Older Americans Look for in Education.
Seefer, Richard G.; Heil, Wendy A.
The educational needs and concerns of midlife and older Americans are as varied as their demographics, family status, economic level, and educational backgrounds. One of the most consistent research findings in adult learning is that the more education people have, the more likely they will be to continue to participate in a wide variety of educational opportunities throughout their lives. Increasingly, our economy is moving toward industries that rely upon knowledge. Half of all service workers are expected to have jobs that involve collecting, analyzing, sorting, and retrieving information by the year 2000. It is possible to think systematically about the possibilities ahead for lifelong education that have some degree of feasibility. Three scenarios of lifelong education for midlife and older Americans are possible: (1) learning for a market in which older people may face economic difficulties and where publicly funded lifelong education can be expanded only slightly and may become less accessible to older, poorer individuals; (2) a learning boom in which lifelong education and training grow rapidly in both public and private sectors and access to the development of instrumental skills becomes more equitable in terms of age and socioeconomic status; and (3) the Renaissance scenario--a visionary perspective in which a learning crisis forces both the public and private sectors to address lifelong learning and educational needs on an ongoing, high-priority basis. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of Retired Persons, Washington, DC.