Lifelong Education / Education Permanente
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But there were variations.
Lifelong Education / Education Permanente
Esping-Andersen, ; Mishra, ; Giddens, ; Law, ; and others. Companies, faith-based organisations and trade unions kept up the impetus for educational formats that already prevailed cf. The schools, meanwhile, proposed a varied range of evening courses, lectures, courses on literature, religion, history, politics and music, the teaching of German and foreign languages, improving health, and so forth. They were voluntary activities and often involved people who already had some knowledge of the topics covered. On the whole these bodies did not offer courses that led to a diploma.
Despite the range of programmes not many workers took advantage of them. It was different for boarding schools, since the content varied in terms of the trade union, religious, economic or social tendencies favoured by whoever ran them.
Diversity also characterised the adults who took part in these initiatives; it was argued that these boarding schools helped to forge a high degree of social cohesion since they brought together people from different social groups cf. Raapke, , p. ALE played an important part in promoting the ideas of the Enlightenment until the s and, as since then it integrated education policies, the responsibility of the state was obvious. It seemed that actions run by civil society bodies in the same decade had these goals diverted, since in an increasingly more plural context the organisations were more reliant on their ideological positions religious and trade union related, for example cf.
But it was felt that the state should be responsible for stimulating a fourth sector in the education system , one that was stable and solid. This new sector included areas like continuing vocational training, political education and liberal education for adults cf. Lattke, In the state, through the national education council, sought to incorporate different facets of the education system. It aimed to structure and organise centrifugal tendencies that were apparent in education, especially in adult education.
That was when another expression emerged, continuing education Weiterbildung , to describe the rebuilding of adult education; this expression came to include continuing vocational education, vocational retraining and compensatory adult education of a non-formal nature cf. The older expression for ALE Erwachsenenbildung kept its association with liberal, general, civic and political education cf. In Sweden, after World War II, popular education folkbildning emerged as the fundamental domain for promoting social change.
But the dialectics established between popular education and Swedish society became less obvious after World War II. For example, since then the state has been supporting folk high schools and paid the monitors of the study circles, the teachers and the administrative staff.
It has also given scholarships to students. It should be noted that these institutions nonetheless enjoyed a high degree of autonomy; they could set goals, decide on the nature of the education usually comprehensive , teaching methods usually active and the participants, who came from various social groups though these mostly belonged to the working middle class , and the length of most of the courses short, medium or long duration cf. Meanwhile, with consolidation of the welfare state, the minimisation of social problems and increasing income earned for work led to the emergence of active social policies as a determining factor for economic stability and the promotion of full employment.
As a result, training programmes aimed at integrating people into the labour market were implemented and so, as Rubenson says, the reform of adult education demonstrated the influence of the theory of human capital cf. Rubenson, In the same vein, the successive reforms in the second half of the 20 th century allowed the formal education system to expand to include more and more people. Recurrent education appeared as a basic idea used to argue that everyone should enjoy equal rights with respect to education, regardless of their social origin, gender, etc.
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In terms of priorities, therefore, we should note the return to educational guidance and second-chance education, i. This return was confirmed by the emphasis given to second-chance education in evening classes. Supplementing the endeavour to modernise the economy, this rationale downgraded issues of literacy, basic education and popular education. These were areas of intervention seen, as far as public policies were concerned, as being generically incompatible with the idealised place and coveted status of an EU country whose main challenges were identified with its economic modernisation and in relation to infrastructure, with the efficacy and efficiency of public and private management, increasing productivity, and internationalisation and competitiveness in the economy cf.
This model stresses the withdrawal of the state that is justified by the internationalisation of the economy, global competition, and diminishing public resources cf. But the state is also losing control of the purposes of education. The reduction of its ability to determine the results of these policies has become clearer, despite the efforts to regulate and the adoption of measures of enforcement cf.
Griffin, a, b. Although education retains an important collective dimension, the individual acquires new responsibilities. This is where we find education and economics drawing closer, in an appeal for greater productivity, competitiveness, and flexibility; and it is in this context that we find an understanding of education training and learning as an investment, with frequent analogies between training and financial capital.
Some degree of interaction between the school and the lifelong learning strategies outside this organisation is thus sought. The human resources management model focuses on the acquisition of competences which are not promoted in the provisions currently available in the education systems. Above all, it has a utility value. It shows that individuals are able to carry out a specific task.
In Germany the possibility of establishing a permanent training market was discussed in It would be linked to giving adults qualifications with the aim of combating unemployment.
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Since then, according to Raapke cf. These reductions had an unequal distribution: in some places ALE seemed to strengthen its position since some public organisations still had some budgetary independence, but market mechanisms appeared to rule in others. But the overall responsibility of the state declined and it now has fewer responsibilities for adult education; in fact it was often argued that adults should take charge of their own education and training and that state support could only be justified in very special circumstances or for particular social groups.
So training for the common interest involved some tension, since the state and local authorities still controlled and funded some initiatives, though this represented only a small part of continuing education Weiterbildung. These concerns were not completely unknown in Portugal since, even in the s, the significance of modernisation and the content of measures dependent on efforts to develop the economy were discussed.
Lima, , p. The recognition of learning acquired throughout life became a central issue in policy discourses in recent times in Sweden.
This involved several risks. With respect to the Northern European models of the welfare state and adult education, in the last twenty years universalist and focused on employment, they have faced two threats, according to Rubenson. The first concerned political discourses in which education was strengthened as long as it considered the needs of the market and individual responsibility in adapting to the challenges that the knowledge economy entailed.
The second threat was linked to lifelong learning as public policy and individual project. In this context the collective efforts of the social movements and the associations that were promoting the study circles, for example, were downplayed and the traditional connection between civil society and popular education came out weaker cf.
Rubenson, , p. This reasoning is based on the idea popular in political discourses that Swedish society, like other countries, is at risk and so the skills of its people are important to the construction of a knowledge economy. Everyone should have the competences that make them employable, and in this context the recognition, accreditation and validation of competences are essential. The skills that people develop during the course of their life should be utilised. In this regard, Andersson and Fejes state that the validation of competences was introduced into the discourse and public policies in Sweden in , thereby increasing the chance of gaining qualifications.
Competence took on a new meaning, stressing its usefulness cf.
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The three analytical models briefly presented here simultaneously comprise heuristic dimensions of research and didactic dimensions. They should be viewed as proposals open to social research and to the historical, cultural and educational diversity of the different contexts under study. This means that there may be a need to increase the number of models or to build sub-models and specifications within some or all models now presented. A greater degree of openness is required in the case of aspects which are indicated below for each of the four categories of analysis presented earlier Table 1.
SVEB - Schweizerischer Verband für Weiterbildung
The inventory offered by the authors is merely indicative, in terms of both theoretical consistency and empirical occurrences in various contexts that have been studied over the last decade. It is not, for instance, because legislation or a government report repeatedly mentions the words democracy and participation that they can immediately be integrated in the democratic-emancipatory mode l. There are, of course, several concepts and very distinct practices of democracy and participation, so it is necessary to understand the political-educational rationale and the historical and cultural context in which these concepts should be interpreted.
In practical terms, it is more plausible to find practical situations that are characterised by the need to muster different analytical models simultaneously rather than a single pure and internally consistent mode. Indeed, these documents represent rational choices made by government authorities in each of the participating countries as to what in that historic moment they understood to be the organisation, priorities and the development of ALE.
They are, therefore, government representations of social policies of ALE that have been adopted internationally, involving historical and cultural aspects, and perhaps some diversity of policy guidelines. In each national report we can find normative statements and implicit and explicit definitions of ALE as a field of policy and practices. The limitations of these documents are, moreover, those which depend on the greater or smaller distance between policy statements and the dominant social representations on the one hand, and effective and practical achievements in terms of specific activities and projects of ALE, on the other.
In line with this expression and with that tradition, this domain refers to processes that happen after primary education and carry on throughout life but not including higher education. This broad definition of ALE could fit a wide range of policies. The role assigned to the state of defining values and principles of action plays a part in this finding, particularly when the report in question states that. This raises the possibility that aspects of a range of ALE policies are likely to be found.
But the German report emphasises the implementation of activities by state and non-state organisations related to work and employment, both commercial and non-profit. Therefore, although it can be said that in terms of principles and values the possibility is mentioned that the principles of three different models of public policy could be adopted, stress is nonetheless placed on aspects consistent with the models of modernisation and state control and of human resources management.