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Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v47 n2 p325-328 Jul 2007

The author's tertiary learning journey began as a research assistant reviewing educational literature. Among the mountain of lifelong learning literature, the author could find nothing that explained why people are or are not lifelong learners. Eventually he found the British work of Gorard and Selwyn (2005). Mindful of Osborne's (2002) caution about making international comparisons, the author conducted a pilot study investigating whether there might be a "prima facie" case for the proposition that the British findings are, or may be, either generalisable or transferable to the Australian context. From the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (2004) to Education Queensland (Moran 2000), lifelong learning for all has been advocated as both an economic and a social and individual good. However, there has been little discussion of the questions "Who says?" and "How do we know?." These questions suggest interesting implications for educational equity and policy. The author draws out these implications by asking whether everyone can in fact be a lifelong learner, whether everyone wishes to be a lifelong learner, and what influences or determines propensity to lifelong learning. Using an adaptation of Gorard and Selwyn's instrument with a small local sample, the author found a "prima facie" case that the British findings may indeed be generalisable or transferable to the Australian context (White 2006).

Descriptors: Research Assistants, Lifelong Learning, Foreign Countries, Masters Degrees, Interviews, Student Experience, Influences, Sex, Family Influence, Equal Education, Personal Narratives, Higher Education

Adult Learning Australia. Level 1, 32 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra ACT 2603 Australia. Tel: 02 6274 9515; Fax: 02 6274 9513; e-mail: j.mccomish[at]; Website:

Autor: White, Robert D.


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