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Lifelong Learning in Europe: Policy & Social Cohesion John Holford, Laura C Engel & Helena L Wilson School of Education Staff Conference 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Lifelong Learning in Europe: Policy & Social Cohesion John Holford, Laura C Engel & Helena L Wilson School of Education Staff Conference 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lifelong Learning in Europe: Policy & Social Cohesion John Holford, Laura C Engel & Helena L Wilson School of Education Staff Conference 2008

2 Includ-ED “Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education” FP6 project: Spain (Co-ordinator), Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia, United Kingdom Six “projects”  Nottingham involved in Projects 1, 2, 5, 6

3 Includ-ED Aims What characteristics of school systems and educational reforms generate low (or high) rates of educational and social exclusion? What components of educational practices decrease (or increase) rates of school failure? How does educational exclusion affect areas of society such as employment, housing, health, political participation, and what can be done about this? How does educational exclusion affect vulnerable groups in society (women, youth, migrants, cultural groups, people with disabilities), and what kinds of provision can help overcome this? Which mixed interventions (educational/social) help overcome social exclusion and build social cohesion? In what ways are community approaches helping reduce inequalities and marginalisation, and foster social inclusion and empowerment? To improve educational policies - for policy makers, managers, teachers, students, families, and Lisbon process

4 Includ-ED Projects 1. European educational systems: connecting theories, reforms, and outcomes 2. Effective European educational practices: How is education contributing to overcoming or reproducing social exclusion? (Commences July 2008) 3. Social and educational exclusion and inclusion: Social structure in a European knowledge based society 4. How social and educational exclusion intersects in vulnerable groups’ experiences & the role of education 5. Connecting educational policies to other areas of social policy  Nottingham lead (commences 2010) 6. Local projects for social cohesion (1 case/year)

5 Includ-ED Reports Nottingham team reports:  P2: Effective European Education Policy: 3 case study reports (Secondary school, Vocational Training programme, Special Education programme)  P6: Local Projects for Social Cohesion: 2 case study reports (Primary school)  All reports: Includ-ED project team reports  All country and comparative reports:

6 LLL2010 “Towards a Lifelong Learning Society in Europe: The Contribution of the Education System” FP6 project: Estonia (Co-ordinator), Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England, Flanders, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovenia Five “sub-projects”  Nottingham involved in all of these

7 LLL2010: Aims Achieving a better understanding of the tensions between a knowledge-based society, lifelong learning and social inclusion in the context of EU enlargement and globalisation; Analysing the role education systems play in the enhancement of lifelong learning – and in particular, the role institutions play in this at ‘micro, meso and macro levels’; Providing an analysis, based on evidence, of the adequacy of lifelong learning policies for different social groups (especially the socially excluded); Developing policy proposals, relevant both to the EU and to national governments, as to how lifelong learning strategies can play a role in decreasing social exclusion – and what implications this has for other areas of social and economic policy; Strengthening the international and multi-disciplinary research infrastructure in relation to lifelong learning; and Developing transnational data sources.

8 LLL2010 Sub-projects 1. Review of literature and policy documents  Co-ordinated by JH 2. Participation & non-participation of adults in formal learning (basic, secondary, vocational, universities)  based on Eurostat Adult Education Survey ( ) (or EU- LFS ad hoc module on lifelong learning) 3. Survey of adults studying in formal education system (basic, secondary, tertiary)  Nottingham’s work subcontracted to NIACE 4. SMEs & participation of workers in formal learning  interviews (Commences July 2008) 5. Vocational, secondary, university management, officials & other stakeholders in adult education  interviews

9 LLL2010 Reports & Outputs SP1: Review of literature and policy documents:  All country and project team reports:  Patterns of Lifelong Learning: Policy & Practice in an Expanding Europe by J. Holford, S. Riddell, E. Weedon, J. Litjens, & G. Hannan (Vienna: Lit Verlag, in press) SP4: SMEs & participation of workers in formal learning (commences July 2008)

10 Now for a taste of the product... Arising from LLL2010, Sub-project 1 “Work and Citizenship in EU Lifelong Learning Policy: Globalisation or Path Dependency”  Or some such title...

11 EU lifelong learning policy Lifelong learning re-emerged in 1990s:  strongly economistic (“HRD in drag” - Boshier) EU now a major international policy-maker  shares economistic approach Dominant explanation:  globalisation, neo-liberalism  e.g., Growth, Competitiveness, Employment seen as key – not Teaching and Learning: Towards a Learning Society (Brine, Field)

12 The Argument This oversimplifies complexity of EU position EU’s economism originates in 1950s  European Common Market  driven by founding treaties, core institutions  path dependency, rather than globalisation Provides space for pursuit of wider goals:  equity, citizenship, European identity  subsidiary, but important  cf. ‘European educational space’: ‘new cultural space’; ‘new European meanings in education are constructed’ (Lawn)

13 Rome to Maastricht education ‘taboo’ in EU until early 1970s ’70s, ’80s: creative conflation of educ’n as universal value with econ. needs of market  e.g., 1974 education ministers’ declaration: ‘co-operation’ in key sectors, but preserve ‘originality of educational traditions and policies in each country’ 1980s: incremental expansion  ECJ decisions; bureaucratic growth (DG)  Focus on better school curricula, European content  Little on lifelong ed. (only school-to-work transitions, adult literacy)

14 Maastricht: New Competence Maastricht Treaty (1992 ) gave EU ‘competence’ to:  contribute ‘to education and training of quality and to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States’ subsidiarity remained, but specific activities ‘European dimension’ defined, esp.:  language teaching; student and teacher mobility; recognition of qualifications; exchanges of youth and ‘socio- educational instructors’; distance education  lifelong learning still limited, and economic: vocational training and retraining – better access, better integration with labour market, firms, etc.

15 Importance of Lifelong Learning 1990s LLL – strongly economistic  but this provided space in EU for non-economic LLL: closer to EU mainstream concerns (“common market”) intervention in member states had to be justified in terms of founding treaties Growth, Competitiveness, Employment  globalisation; ICT; Asian, US competition  saw LLL, continuing training, essential Teaching & Learning: Towards a Learning Society  rationale for LLL within this framework  programmes with trans-EU dimensions  LLL as organising policy theme

16 Lisbon Strategy - from 2000 Aim: ‘most competitive and dynamic knowledge- based economy in the world... with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion’ by 2010  education and training systems to adapt to ‘the demands of the knowledge society and to the need for an improved level and quality of employment’ Open Method of Co-ordination’  timetables, goals, indicators, benchmarks  monitoring, evaluation and peer review Increase in volume, detail, specificity of policy- formulation in LLL

17 The argument restated Central features of EU LLL policy in step with international trends since early 1990s For EU, this can be traced back to founding market orientation  path dependency rather than ‘globalisation’ EU LLL had maintained concern with social inclusion, citizenship, social cohesion  given limited legal competence in Education, often framed in language compatible with market Related to bureaucratic development: role of DG

18 A Crisis of Lisbon? By 2005, progress lagging on Lisbon goals Robertson: Kok report, etc., represents ‘new crisis discourse’ and led to shift towards ‘globally-oriented “education” policies’ A shift from citizenship/inclusion to globalisation/ markets? Efficiency and Equity (2006) Courses for ‘unemployed and those who have not succeeded’ in compulsory education ‘important’ in ‘equity terms’. Adult Learning: It is never too late to learn (2006) Adult learning relevant to competitiveness, demographic change, and social inclusion. Key Competences for Lifelong Learning: European Reference Framework (2007) - ‘reference tool for policy-makers’  specifies knowledge, skills, attitudes across eight areas, including social and civic competences and cultural awareness and expression References to ‘knowledge economy’ & ‘knowledge society’:  Efficiency and Equity: KS: 2; ‘knowledge based economy & society’: 1.  Adult Learning: 0.  Key Competences KS: 2; KE: 0; ‘knowledge-based society’ 1.

19 Conclusion: Efficiency or Equity? EU education policy mainly vocational, market-oriented  reflects founding treaties – ‘path dependency not globalisation’  Social inclusion, citizenship, social cohesion have become important (if subsidiary) themes Since early 1990s, EU LLL policy has parallelled concern to build European identity Economic competitiveness orientation of international LLL provided space for EU LLL policies/programmes emphasising citizenship and social cohesion Recognise EU’s maintenance of space for wider social concerns


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