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ERIC Number: EJ803036
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0313-7155
Lifelong Learning Skills and Attributes: The Perceptions of Australian Secondary School Teachers
Adams, Don
Issues in Educational Research, v17 n2 p149-160 2007
Lifelong learning encompasses formal and informal learning aimed at personal fulfilment, active citizenship, flexibility of employability and social inclusion (European Commission, 2001). Policy is often framed on the importance of skills in the new economies. Knowledge, being the foundation of modern economies, means learning is the central factor for economic sustainability and growth. The rhetoric surrounding lifelong learning has seen a significant focus on post secondary education in the vocational and higher education sectors. Research into the school sector and how well it prepares students for lifelong learning in the Australian context has been virtually non-existent. The current Australian school curricula often embeds competencies for entry into the world of work (Mayer key competencies, Employability Skills), but the inclusion of lifelong learning competencies or skills appears to have been overlooked. This is despite the significant role that school education plays in preparation of school graduates for a lifetime of learning. Without a framework of those skills and attributes of lifelong learning, it is not possible to reliably measure if or how well the school curriculum addresses the development of lifelong learning skills and attributes. This recent study within the Australian secondary school context was conducted to attempt to identify a framework of skills and attributes (a conceptual model) of lifelong learners leaving school for the last time. This paper details the outcomes of the study, where qualitative approaches were employed to explore the perceptions of 34 secondary school teachers, and from this data a conceptual model for lifelong learning is presented. This conceptual model may well help in answering the question "How well is the public secondary school system in an Australian context preparing students for a lifetime of learning" and provides much data, information and direction moving away from the rhetoric. It also allows a basis for further and much more extensive research within this area and may assist policy makers, administrators, curriculum developers and teachers in further advancing the effectiveness of school education within the context of lifelong learning. (Contains 1 figure.)
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia