ERIC Number: ED442943
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Notes towards a Social Theory of Lifetime Learning: History, Place, and the Learning Society. Patterns of Participation in Adult Education and Training. Working Paper 6.
Rees, Gareth; Fevre, Ralph; Furlong, John; Gorard, Stephen
This working paper is a product of a regional study in industrial South Wales of the determinants of participation and non-participation in post-compulsory education and training, with special reference to processes of change in the patterns of these determinants over time and to variations between geographical areas. Discussion begins with an examination of the way in which the official discourse of the learning society is dominated by a particular social theory of lifelong learning, called human capital theory. It demonstrates that human capital theory involves an unwarranted abstraction of economic behavior from social relations more widely, maintaining that participation in lifetime learning cannot be understood in terms of the narrow calculation of utility maximization. This critique provides the basis for the development of the lineaments of a theoretical account in which learning behavior is conceived as the product of individual calculation and active choice, but within parameters set by both access to learning opportunities and collective norms--parameters that vary systematically over space and time so that place and history must accordingly play a central role in any adequate theorization. The paper concludes that this kind of theoretical approach has important implications for empirical research and strategies aimed at creating a learning society. (Contains 49 references and 16 notes.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council, Lancaster (England).
Authoring Institution: Bristol Univ. (England).; Cardiff Univ. (Wales). School of Education.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain); United Kingdom (Wales)