Lifelong learning is a concept that targets not only adults including the elderly but one that involves all generations from the time of birth to death. From an originally theoretical viewpoint, this concept should be accompanied by radical changes in the traditional concept of education and schooling. Politically, lifelong learning has been one of the most important elements of the Japanese educational reform for almost 40 years, since it was first provisionally defined in the Central Educational Council Report (1981) titled “On Lifelong Education.” Of course, community promotion has never been the main aim of activating each citizen’s learning activity, but it has very often been reported that promoting lifelong learning activities throughout a particular region led to effective promotion of the community. An accumulation of the richness of human relationships created through their learning activities, including mutual face-to-face encounters, seems to have resulted in optimal social efficiency owing to the active collaboration among citizens. It is for this reason that I insist that education in the new era must be redefined, not only as the teaching of individuals but also as the fostering of mutual trust, even though the content of educational evaluation tends to be exclusively restricted to each individual. In this presentation, I would like to share some theoretical ideas about lifelong learning assistance that can function as both analytical guidelines and pragmatic indicators and explore a new practical methodology of education, paying attention to educational efficacy in community planning.
Hidekazu Sasaki, Utsunomiya University, Japan
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