Lifelong learning policies, paradoxes and possibilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues that there are many ways of conceptualising lifelong learning and examines EU and Scottish lifelong learning policies in order to identify their underlying assumptions. Through an analysis of these policies it is demonstrated that they draw on a number of inter-related fallacies that prioritise lifelong learning mainly in relation to its economic value. Three fallacies are identified: economic success equals eradication of deprivation and exclusion; failure is the fault of the individual; access to education is fair. These fallacies are then deconstructed in order to suggest ways of interrogating their contradictions so that opportunities for more radical educational action can be found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-28
Number of pages14
JournalThe Adult Learner Journal The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014


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