ERG SES H 05, Lifelong Learning and Education
Lifelong learning (LLL) has been seen as a required response to rapid growth of economical, technological and societal pressures since the 1960s (e.g. Biesta 2006; Olssen 2008). Nowadays the ideology of LLL has become an unquestionable truth which most scholars say is governed by the hegemonical discourse of economy. The common argument is that if nations do not join the race for a learning society, then all may be lost. (e.g. Fejes 2005; Olssen 2008.) Looking from the European perspective, LLL has become one of the leading policies in the European Union and its policy is to produce Europe ´the most competitive area´ in the world. The LLL has emerged as an unquestionable self-governing policy which is constantly reconstructed through different techniques, such as self-assessment, self-evaluation and recurrent updating of the skills of becoming ´an active citizen´. (Fejes 2005; 2006.) The Foucauldian concept of governmentality refers to power relations, where one regulates his own conduct (the conduct of conduct) (Foucault 2010a). In this perspective, LLL has become a ´technique of governmentality´.
From the genealogical and historical perspective things haven´t always been the same. Many scholars have divided the development of LLL into three different ´generations´ or ´orientations´ in Europe (Biesta 2006; Centeno 2011). Its instutionalized history started from humanistic paradigm and it was mainly ruled by Unesco from the late 1960s to the beginning of the 1980s. Second generation spanned from the beginning of the 80s to the millennium. It was mainly governed by the economical views of the OECD and it is often referred as an economist generation. Third generation started from the beginning of the 21st century and is said to be a mix of the last two orientations and called as a soft economist generation. (Biesta 2006; Olssen 2008; Centeno 2011.)
The paper is based on my ongoing doctoral dissertation, where the construction of the third generation of lifelong learning from three empirical perspectives in Finland is studied. The material of the first perspective constructs the economical discourse of LLL. The research material of the economic discourse consists of the most essential documents of LLL from the two major economic organisations in Finland (Eva & Sitra). The material of the second dimension represents the official discourse of the state in LLL policy. The material includes the main publications from the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland which deals with the issue of lifelong learning. The material of the third perspective represents ´the public debate´ of the LLL. The material comprises the texts which relate to LLL from the letter to the editor section in the major newspaper (Helsingin Sanomat) in Finland. The material includes the most relevant documents since the year 2000.
The preliminary research questions are:
· What kind of LLL discourses will construct from the material?
· How they are rhetorically constructed and how different discourses are connected to each other?
· What kind of background ideologies (political, philosophical, etc.) and societal context the discourses are connected to?
· What kinds of power and governmentality relations are being constructed through LLL in different discourses?
· What kind of ethical reality is being constructed through the governmentality of lifelong learning?
Biesta, G. 2006. What´s the point of Lifelong Learning if Lifelong Learning Has No Point? On the Democratic Deficit of Policies for Lifelong Learning. European Educational Research Journal, 5, (3 & 4), 169–180. Centeno, V. 2011. Lifelong learning: a policy concept with a long past but a short history. International Journal of Lifelong Learning. Vol. 30, no 2. 133-150. Córdoba, J-R. 2006. Using Foucault to analyse ethics in the practise of problem structuring methods. Journal of the Operational Research Society, Vol 57, No. 9. 1027-1034. Fairclough, N. 2000. Discourse, social theory, and social research: The discourse of welfare reform. Journal of Sociolinguistics 4/2. 163-195. Fairclough, N. 2008. Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. Oxon: Routledge. Fejes, A. 2005. New wine in old skins: changing patterns in the governing of the adult learner in Sweden. International Journal of Lifelong Education. Vol. 24, no. 1. 71-86. Fejes, A. 2006. The planetspeak discourse of lifelong learning in Sweden: what is an educable adult? Journal of Education Policy. Vol. 21, no 6. 697-716. Foucault, M. 1998. Nietzsche, genealogia, historia. (Nietzsche, Genealogy, History) Teoksessa Foucault/Nietzsche. Suom. Jussi Vähämäki. Tutkijaliitto: Helsinki. 41-107. Foucault, M. 2005a. Tiedon arkeologia. (The Archaeology of Knowledge) Suom. Tapani Kilpeläinen. Tampere: Vastapaino. Foucault, M. 2005b. Tarkkailla ja rangaista. (Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison.) Suom. Eevi Nivanka. Helsinki: Otava. Foucault, M. 2010a. Seksualisuuden historia (The History of Sexuality). Suom. Kaisa Sivenius. Gaudeamus: Helsinki. Foucault, M. 2010b. Turvallisuus, alue, väestö. Hallinnallisuuden historia. (Security, Territory, Population) Collège de Francen luennot 1977-1978. Suom. Antti Paakkari. Tutkijaliitto: Helsinki. Olssen, M. 2008. Understanding the mechanisms of neoliberal control. Lifelong learning, flexibility and knowledge capitalism. Teoksessa Fejes, A & Nicoll, K (toim.) Foucault and lifelong learning. Governing the subject. London: Routledge. 34-47. Rogers, R. 2008. Critical discourse analysis in education. Teoksessa M. Martin-Jones, A. M. de Mejia & N.H. Hornberger (toim.) Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd Edition, Vol 3: Discourse and Education. 53-68.
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