Lifelong Tools for the Learner, Educator, and Worker

Lifelong Tools for the Learner, Educator, and Worker

Lyle Yorks (Columbia University, USA) and Leodis Scott (Columbia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2181-7.ch004
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Discussing lifelong learning is a chance to revisit notions of education, learning, and employment. In response to the Handbook’s call for “technological workforce tools” for lifelong learning, this chapter shifts toward philosophical perspectives serving as the “lifelong tools” of learning and education for considering society in communal ways. These lifelong tools may repair old thoughts or private matters of learned, education, and employment for new collaborative ideas and spirits, breathing life into all areas of learning, educating, and working. This chapter compares lifelong learning with other terms such as lifelong education and community education, and concludes that the emergence of learning cities and regions could be the twenty-first century testing ground for practicing lifelong learning.
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In order to consider lifelong learning in a new philosophical outlook and perspective, some components are necessary to address. Given the debate between lifelong learning and lifelong education, this chapter spots a troubled past in need of reconciliation. Community education is viewed as an important strand of lifelong education that can help improve the lifelong learning concept. Because a new philosophical outlook is advanced concerning new “lifelong tools” for learning and education, three perspectives are presented. These perspectives are 1) education and learning; 2) work and employment; and 3) societies and learning cities. Attention is given to elements such as community education; community service and volunteerism; human, social, and cultural capital.

Troubled Past of Lifelong Learning

Exploring the term lifelong learning comes with a bit of history. The history of how it came about starting with arguably a troubled past—or at least a debate about its differences to lifelong education. Both lifelong learning and lifelong education comes with underlying intentions as expressed by many educational thinkers and philosophers. Ultimately, the history and debate would lead to other terms such as continuing and community education. These terms should not be taken lightly, because their historical underpinnings could help reshape new perspectives relevant to current times and for all constituencies.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Communal Work: A third kind of work compared to autonomous and heteronomous work where the major goal may not be simply personal, but in the interest of the community.

Lifelong Education: A historical term for the application of education performed mostly by institutions.

Cultural Capital: A distinctive term, explained by Waters (2005), other than human or social capital. Possibly, it could serve as a means for assessing an environment that encourages education and learning within its economic society through its policies, rewards, and incentives.

Lifelong Learning: A contemporary term for the expression of learning performed mostly by individuals.

Learning Cities: A geographic region that supports lifelong learning for all that considers among other things: individuals, institutions, communities, governments, education, learning, employment, and the economy.

Lifelong Tools: A philosophical outlook that expands the contemporary term of lifelong learning to address the interests and issues of learning and education among individuals and institutions; communities and organizations; governments and societies.

Community Education: A corollary term of lifelong education that features the relationship between individuals and institutions.

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