23 SES 02 D, Europeanisation and National Policy
Parallel Paper Session
The concept of lifelong learning has been used and debated for many years, but it has most often been associated with adult education and learning. The establishment of the EU lifelong learning programme has tentatively put a more comprehensive approach to lifelong learning on the agenda, where lifelong learning is taken to mean learning throughout the life course and the types of institutional education available in different life phases, and where coordination of educational policies for different age groups becomes a crucial issue.
In establishing systems of lifelong learning and making them work, crucial measures are improving the formal and material provision for adult education, establishing multiple links between adult education and the rest of the educational system and establishing funding schemes for adult students. But broader elements are no less important, such ensuring that primary and secondary education prepare people to return to education later in life and supporting a learning culture in work organizations and everyday life in general.
In this paper I will discuss the state of lifelong learning policy in two European societies with different educational contexts, histories, system models and development issues, Denmark and Portugal. Denmark is a Nordic welfare state with comprehensive state organised welfare, a relatively high standard of living and a strong tradition of public education. Portugal is a more traditional Southern society with less state-organised welfare, lower standards of living and later development of public education. These countries are two very different contexts for lifelong learning policy.
As part of the paper I will discuss EU policies and initiatives in the area of lifelong learning. Through the Lisbon process promotion of lifelong learning became and is still a key element in EU educational policy. Around 2006 the EUs development programmes for the main sectors of education (school education, vocational education, higher education, adult education and training) were reorganized into a single programme entitled ‘Lifelong learning’. The consequences for the different sector-related activities were limited, but at a cultural and symbolical level it was an important step.
I will try to assess how national policies in Denmark and Portugal have been influenced by EU policies and funding.
Borg, C and Mayo, P. (2005), “The EU Memorandum on Lifelong Learning. Old Wine in New Bottles?” in Globalisation, Societies and Education, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 257-278. Carneiro, R., ed. (2011) Accreditation of prior learning as a lever for lifelong learning: lessons learnt from the New Opportunities Initiative, Portugal. Portugal: CEPCEP, UNESCO and MENON network Eurydice (2010) Structures of education and training systems in Europe: Denmark. Copenhagen: Eurydice Network. Eurydice (2010) Structures of education and training systems in Europe: Portugal. Lisbon: Eurydice Network. Guichard, S and Larre, B. (2006) Enhancing Portugal’s Human Capital. OECD Economic Department Working Papers no. 505. Paris: OECD. Habermas, J. (1984-87), The Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 1-2. Cambridge: Polity Press. Illeris, K. (2004), Adult Education and Adult Learning. Copenhagen: Roskilde University Press Rasmussen, P. (2006), ”Danish Learning Traditions in the Context of the European Union”, in Kuhn, M. & Sultana, R., (eds.), Homo sapiens europæus. Creating the European Learning Citizen, p. 47-67. New York: Peter Lang Rubenson, K. (2006), ”Constructing the lifelong learning paradigm: Competing visions from the OECD and UNESCO”, in Ehlers, S. (ed.), Milestones – towards lifelong learning systems”, p. 151-170. Copenhagen: Danish University of Education Press.
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