This is a book with a difference: it produces a completely new perspective on lifelong learning and the learning society and locates them within humanity itself. Five themes run through this book:
- Humankind has always been aware of the imperfections of human society: as a consequence, it has looked back to a mythological past and forward to a utopian future that might be religious, political, economic or even educational to find something better.
Lifelong learning as we currently see it is like two sides of the same coin: we learn in order to be workers who produce, and learn we have a need to consume. We then devour the commodities we have produced, whilst others take the profits!
- One of the greatest paradoxes of the human condition has been the place of the individual in the group/community, or conversely how the groups allow the individual to exist rather than stifle individuality
- Modernity is flawed and the type of society that we currently have, which we in the West call a learning society, is in need of an ethical overhaul in this late modern age.
- There is a need to bring a different perspective – both political and ethical – on lifelong learning and the learning society in order to try to understand what the good society and the good life might become.
In Democracy, Lifelong Learning and the Learning Society, the third volume of his trilogy on lifelong learning, Professor Jarvis expertly addresses the issues that arise from the vision of the learning society. The book concludes that since human beings continue to learn, so the learning society must be a process within the incomplete project of humanity.
All three books in the trilogy will be essential reading for students in education, HRD and teaching and learning generally, in addition to academics and informed practitioners.
The Lifelong Learning and the Learning Society Trilogy
Volume 1: Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Human Learning
Volume 2: Globalisation, Lifelong Learning and the Learning Society
Volume 3: Democracy, Lifelong Learning and the Learning Society
Peter Jarvis is an internationally renowned expert in the field of adult learning and continuing education. He is Professor of Continuing Education at the University of Surrey, UK, and honorary Adjunct Professor in Adult Education at the University of Georgia, USA.