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Aging in European SocietiesLate-Life Learning in the European Union: Implications for Social and Public Policy

Aging in European Societies: Late-Life Learning in the European Union: Implications for Social... [This chapter provides a critical assessment of policy practice in older adult learning in European societies, emphasising the need to develop guiding principles and courses of action that increase and improve the opportunities for elder-learning. It is argued that despite comparative studies focusing on Europe demonstrate an unprecedented rise of older persons engaging in educational activities, late-life learning is rarely given space in inter-governmental and national policies on lifelong learning. In its drive to espouse the ‘human capital’ values of lifelong learning, the European Union’s vision for older adult education is unashamedly neo-liberal and economic in its foundation. Ageing and learning are combined together for the sole reason that the latter is perceived as holding a potential to help older people remain in or re-enter paid employment. It is suggested herein that there is a real urgent need for policy frameworks on lifelong learning that not only address the learning needs and interests of older persons, but which are also guided by a rationale that reinstates lifelong learning in the (pre-Third Way) values of social levelling, social cohesion and social justice. Only so will it become possible for late-life learning to prioritise the ‘democratic-citizen’ over the ‘future worker-citizen’ as the prime asset of post-industrial societies. This chapter puts forward an action plan for late-life learning incorporating six key directives: lifting the barriers to participation, ensuring the quality of older adult learning, improving third age guidance and re-skilling, re-thinking higher education opportunities for older adults, bringing learning closer to homes and communities, and finally, establishing learning opportunities for housebound elders and nursing care residents. It is augured that such action will put older persons at the centre of the learning experience, as well as developing a consonance between mutually supportive objectives such as personal fulfilment, active citizenship, social inclusion and adaptability/employability.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Aging in European SocietiesLate-Life Learning in the European Union: Implications for Social and Public Policy

Part of the International Perspectives on Aging Book Series (volume 6)
Editors: Phellas, Constantinos
Aging in European Societies — Sep 26, 2012

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References (65)

Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
ISBN
978-1-4419-8344-2
Pages
255 –266
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4419-8345-9_17
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[This chapter provides a critical assessment of policy practice in older adult learning in European societies, emphasising the need to develop guiding principles and courses of action that increase and improve the opportunities for elder-learning. It is argued that despite comparative studies focusing on Europe demonstrate an unprecedented rise of older persons engaging in educational activities, late-life learning is rarely given space in inter-governmental and national policies on lifelong learning. In its drive to espouse the ‘human capital’ values of lifelong learning, the European Union’s vision for older adult education is unashamedly neo-liberal and economic in its foundation. Ageing and learning are combined together for the sole reason that the latter is perceived as holding a potential to help older people remain in or re-enter paid employment. It is suggested herein that there is a real urgent need for policy frameworks on lifelong learning that not only address the learning needs and interests of older persons, but which are also guided by a rationale that reinstates lifelong learning in the (pre-Third Way) values of social levelling, social cohesion and social justice. Only so will it become possible for late-life learning to prioritise the ‘democratic-citizen’ over the ‘future worker-citizen’ as the prime asset of post-industrial societies. This chapter puts forward an action plan for late-life learning incorporating six key directives: lifting the barriers to participation, ensuring the quality of older adult learning, improving third age guidance and re-skilling, re-thinking higher education opportunities for older adults, bringing learning closer to homes and communities, and finally, establishing learning opportunities for housebound elders and nursing care residents. It is augured that such action will put older persons at the centre of the learning experience, as well as developing a consonance between mutually supportive objectives such as personal fulfilment, active citizenship, social inclusion and adaptability/employability.]

Published: Sep 26, 2012

Keywords: Late-life learning; Older adult learning; Educational gerontology; Critical gerontology

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