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Why's the beer always stronger up North?: Studies of lifelong learning in Europe
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Why's the beer always stronger up North?: Studies of lifelong learning in Europe (Paperback)

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This collection of papers takes a new, critical line on lifelong learning. Over the last few decades in the English-speaking world, a powerful consensus has developed about the need for nothing less than a revolution in education and training to maintain economic competitiveness. Politicians of the left, middle and right, trade union and business leaders have repeatedly promoted this rhetoric, choosing lifelong learning as the solution to a wide range of economic, social and political problems.

This report draws on empirical research which challenges this consensus in Germany, France and Spain, as well as in the UK. It suggests that instead lifelong learning may be better viewed as contested terrain between employers, unions and the state. It argues that lifelong learning is being turned into a moral obligation and a form of social control, and that the demands on employees to become and remain everlastingly employable are escalating.

The report raises many critical and controversial issues in examining the concepts of 'The Learning Society', 'The Learning Organisation' and 'Lifelong Learning' as they are being translated into practice in the UK with similar projects in a number of European countries. It also compares British initiatives. For example, footloose employers claim to be developing 'learning organisations' to which employees are expected to be totally committed, while being treated as totally expendable. The equation does not add up.

The report is essential reading for all politicians, policy makers, employers, trade unionists and educationalists keen to develop a Learning Society within the UK.

EducationCareers & StudyingCareers guidanceIndustrial or vocational trainingEducationEducation TheoryEducational strategies & policyEducationEducation TheoryHigher & further education, tertiary educationPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSociologySocial theory Publisher: Policy Press Publication Date: 01/01/1999 ISBN-13: 9781861341310  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Frank Coffield, Institute of Education, University of London

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