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ERIC Number: EJ874264
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0790-8040
Swimming with the (Main) Stream? The Relationship of Adult Education and the Lifelong Learning Agenda in Post-Devolution UK
Slowey, Maria
Adult Learner: The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education, p27-41 2004
For a decade or so the policy debate on post-school education and training across OECD countries has been shaped to a considerable extent by the associated, although distinct, concepts of lifelong learning and the learning society. Developments in the UK have both reflected this trend and contributed to pushing forward these notions. The plethora of policy documents at national and international levels published on the subject around ten years ago did indeed make explicit, albeit in a variety of different ways, the importance of continuing education and training for the adult population. This paper reviews developments in the UK over the last decade through an analysis of five major issues. Despite the emergence--or, in some areas, the strengthening--of differences between different parts of the UK, the following five issues have some relevance to all OECD states, including Ireland: (1) widening access; (2) recognition of learning wherever it takes place; (3) accreditation, quality and learner centred approaches; (4) pathways; and (5) partnership. The five issues explored in this article are simply a selection from a range of topics which could be highlighted as offering potential areas of congruence--swimming with the (main)stream--between adult education and the lifelong learning agenda. They also however point to tensions, if not contradictions, in practice for the interests of adult learners where the adult education community finds itself swimming "against" the (main)stream. The thrust of the discussion in this paper points to the need for (main)stream lifelong learning policy makers across the UK and internationally to draw upon broader and more diverse perspectives--including, importantly, those associated with the adult education tradition. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
AONTAS The National Adult Learning Organisation. 2nd Floor, 83-87 Main Street, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland. Tel: +353-1-406-8220; Tel: +353-1-406-8221; Fax: +353-1-406-8227; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom