ERIC Number: EJ718911
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb
Reference Count: 33
Towards a Le@rning Society? The Impact of Technology on Patterns of Participation in Lifelong Learning
Gorard, Stephen; Selwyn, Neil
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v26 n1 p71-89 Feb 2005
This paper is based on 1001 home-based interviews with UK adults. It describes their varying patterns of participation in lifelong learning and their use of technology for learning and leisure. It finds that 37% of all adults report no further education of any kind after reaching compulsory school leaving age. This proportion declines with each age cohort, but is largely replaced by a pattern of lengthening initial education and still reporting no later education. These patterns of participation are predictable to a large extent from regression analysis using a life-order model of determining variables--all of which are set very early in life. This suggests that universal theories to describe participation, such as human capital theory, are incorrect in several respects. Where individuals create, for themselves and through their early experiences, a 'learner identity' inimicable to further study, then the prospect of learning can become a burden rather than an investment for them. This has implications for the now widespread and extensively funded notion of overcoming barriers to access via technology.
Descriptors: Adults, Human Capital, Lifelong Learning, Interviews, Foreign Countries, Information Technology, Access to Education, Educational Technology, Educational Attainment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom