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ERIC Number: EJ877412
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
Get Happy
Field, John
Adults Learning, v20 n2 p8-11 Oct 2008
How can people make the most of their lives in a fast-changing world? And how should adult learning help? These are large questions, and the answers are unlikely to be simple or straightforward. Yet if adult learning does not help people to flourish, then it is hard to see why it should enjoy any public support at all. The evidence for the contribution adult learning can make to wellbeing and mental capital is robust, but learning is only one of many possible interventions in policy. The Foresight report on "Mental Capital and Wellbeing: Making the most of ourselves in the 21st century," brings together a number of ideas for long-term interventions designed to address future challenges to Britain's wellbeing and intellectual potential, based on a systematic review of research into the factors that influence people's wellbeing and mental development, from conception until death. Foresight's ability to look over the longer term, and ask how people's actions shape their future in 30 years or more, is enormously empowering. And while recommending a number of learning interventions, it also raises some important challenges. First, there are some obvious messages about the importance of wellbeing as an outcome of learning. Then there is the human brain. Much of the brain is shaped by what people experience as infants, and public policies could do much more to help people grow their potential by promoting brain development in the first days and years of life. The author suggests policymakers to consider other potential interventions, some of which may have a larger impact than investing in adult learning and ultimately cost no more. (Contains 3 online resources.)
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; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom