ERIC Number: ED407584
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Building Social Capital: Steps towards a Learning Society. Occasional Papers Series: No. 11.
Although it is true that education is an investment, there are risks associated with relying too strongly on the metaphor of education as investment. The main problems with the investment metaphor are as follows: (1) it pushes aside the notion of education as a consumption good that people want for its own sake; (2) the human capital approach can cast a shadow over forms of learning unable to prove adequately that they are a profitable investment; and (3) the measures used for input and output in analyses of the relationship between education and economic performance are problematic. Education should be viewed not as an investment in human capital but rather as an investment in social capital. It may be argued that, rather than fostering a system of lifelong learning, the expansion of higher education (especially initial higher education) has merely concentrated resources on the initial phase of education at the expense of later opportunities, which is neither an effective nor a socially equitable way of allocating resources. To get closer to a learning society, the current preoccupation with the supply of education must be replaced with closer attention to the factors influencing the demand for education. (Contains 11 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, Educational Demand, Educational Supply, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Human Capital, Humanistic Education, Humanitarianism, Lifelong Learning, Social Action, Social Capital, Social Values
Centre for Continuing Education, University of Edinburgh, 11 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, Scotland (2 pounds).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Edinburgh Univ. (Scotland). Centre for Continuing Education.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)