Adult Education for Life or for Survival? Dr. Sonja Kump
Summary: The article is based on the critical analyses of lifelong learning as a political project, with a special emphasis on the erosion of adult education appearing in the neo-liberal discourse on lifelong learning. The paper first focuses on the changing of the concept of lifelong learning from humanist tradition to an economically determined idea. Afterwards, it presents critical analyses of individual aspects of the prevailing concept of lifelong learning arising from the post-industrial and globalisational theories of societal change. It raises the issue of adult education targets that are only focused on the adjustment of an individual to the changed production conditions and development of new technologies. This involves the neglect of the tradition of adult education connected with personal and societal changing that can lead to true democracy. In this ’downwards’ understanding of lifelong learning, primarily focused on qualification for work, adult education increasingly becomes a means of social control and decreasingly a multidimensional experience. From the viewpoint of radical adult education, the conclusion of the article presents the possible alternatives to the neo-liberally designed lifelong learning, which raise the expectations of a more humane and socially just society.