Lifelong Learning From the Early Stages of Life


The concept of Lifelong Learning, generally used in reference to in-service training, vocational retraining for the labour market, post-university specialised training, and cultural and spiritual enrichment in adulthood and old age, assumes that lifelong learning starts only when school finishes, thus overlooking the great importance that educability and education in the first stages of life have for ones whole life. We define Lifelong Learning in broader terms as a process that builds from the first days and weeks of life and extends across ones whole lifetime to old age (lifelong learning). In addition, it develops in different environments related to training and experience (lifewide learning); it requires a secure basis and a deep form of learning (lifedeep learning) from which one can continue building over the course of life (West-Burnham & Coates, 2005; West-Burnham Huss & Jones, 2008; CONFINTEA VI, 2010; Derrick, Howard, Field & Lavender Karlsson & Kjisik 2010, 2011). It is a process located in historical-cultural and socio-economic contexts, and it is mediated through the practices and perspectives of local culture (Engestrm, 1987; Banks, Ball et al, 2007). Today, about one hundred years after its first appearance, several challenges to the concept of Lifelong Learning remain unsolved in Europe (Field, 2010), including: the quality of education in formal contexts, starting from early education at nursery and primary school (Yeaxlee, 1929); the quality and enhancement of experiences in informal and non-formal educational contexts (Yeaxlee, 1929; Dewey, 1938; Lewin, 1935, 1936; Bruner, 1997; Cot�, 2004; Banks, Ball et al., 2007); the development of intentionally-designed educational settings, places of action, and significant experiences for the individual and for the group (Lindeman, 1926; Yeaxlee, 1929; Vygotsky, 1934). The underlying notion is that educability is a precondition for education and that education is a factor of educability (Dozza and Trisciuzzi, 2016): in childhood and adolescence, education and respect for the conditions of maturation and development are of central importance in order to avoid prejudicing the ability of the mind (of the body-self and of the narrative-self) and to favour continued learning throughout ones life.

Author Information
Liliana Dozza, Free University of Bolzano, Italy

Paper Information
Conference: IICEDubai2017
Stream: Adult and lifelong learning

This paper is part of the IICEDubai2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon