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Looking Forward: What are the Prospects for Lifelong Learning after the Pandemic?
14th January 2021 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Due to social distancing measures, this session will take place via video conference. The video conference will run from 6 pm – 7:30 pm. Details will be sent on the day to people who have registered via Eventbrite.
About the January Forum
Presented by: Professor John Field
We’ve been through extraordinary times. The last twelve months have witnessed extraordinary disruptions to our everyday lives as we adjusted to the global pandemic. We should not forget that the year also saw a remarkable series of policy discussion around adult learning and continuing education, all of which acknowledged that further and adult education were (a) vital to our well-being and prosperity and (b) massively underfunded.
So what happens next? This session will consider the prospects for lifelong learning as we move into a post-pandemic world. In particular we will discuss four ‘big change factors’ that are likely to shape the development of lifelong learning. These are:
- the experience of the pandemic itself, which stimulated a marked rise in adult education participation, and will also led inexorably to rising unemployment;
- the demand for adult skills will change as a result of Brexit;
- UK productivity, which has historically lagged behind its main competitors, will be increasingly visible as trade patterns shift; and
- climate change, which is proving a ‘wicked problem’ for democratic governments in particular.
Policy will also matter, and 2021 should finally see the publication of the Government’s much-delayed White Paper on further education. But these ‘big four change factors’ are largely outside the control of government, as are the likely behaviours of learners.
The presenter argues that these tendencies point to a probable bright future for lifelong learning in the short to medium term, but not necessarily lifelong learning as we have known it in the past. To what extent does this bring new opportunities for those who hope for a broad and generous approach to adult learning?
About the Presenter
Professor John Field is Emeritus Professor of Education at Stirling University. He has a long-standing background of interest and involvement in lifelong learning. Recent publications include edited collections on Mental Capital and Wellbeing and Researching Transitions in Lifelong Learning.
About Vaughan Open Research Forum
Vaughan Open Research Forum is series of talks, workshops and interactive sessions which are open to anyone who is curious and wants to find out more.
Themes for sessions relate to our core teaching topics, arts, humanities, social sciences and counselling, and also discuss adult education and co-operative issues. The Vaughan Open Research Forums take place on the second Thursday of the month.
Due to social distancing measures, this session will take place via video conference. Please register below.
The video conference will run from 6 pm – 7:30 pm. Details will be sent on the day via Eventbrite to people who have registered.