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ERIC Number: EJ871047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
A Right to Be Different
McAleese, Mary
Adults Learning, v20 n5 p22-23 Jan 2009
Ireland and the European Union have to accommodate difference not just in theory but in lived reality. For many people that means making themselves think and act differently, for they no longer have the complacency that comes from living in a homogeneous environment but the challenge of living in a heterogeneous environment where their rights are equal to the rights of all others. There is a process of both learning and unlearning to be undergone for everybody. Cardinal Newman once remarked that "to be human is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often". It is a good description of lifelong learning and could be the motto of all lifelong learners. If people saw education as something that ended with official school days then many would be in deep trouble by now in this fast-paced and rapidly changing world where the shelf-life of information and knowledge is short, where the skills needed for the workplace, the home, and even for leisure have dramatically changed and keep on changing exponentially. Parents who missed out on early schooling now see clearly how literacy problems or lack of qualifications have held them back from truly fulfilling lives. They see the jobs they could not apply for, the forms they could not fill out, the stories they could not read to their children, the homework they could not help with, the lack of confidence they lived with in a very literate and technologically sophisticated world. They want better for themselves and for their children. In this article, the author argues that adult learning is critical to meeting the challenge of living in a heterogeneous environment.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland