Policy Press

Creating a learning society?

Learning careers and policies for lifelong learning

By Stephen Gorard and Gareth Rees


May 22, 2002

Page count

208 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Creating a learning society?

Lifelong learning is a key government strategy - both in the UK and internationally - to promote economic growth and combat social exclusion. This book presents a highly innovative study of participation in lifelong learning and the problems which need to be overcome if lifelong learning policies are to be successful. It:

provides a systematic analysis, based on innovative empirical research, of the social and economic realities which actually determine patterns of participation in lifelong learning;

shows what the factors are that shape people's participation, or their decision not to participate;

offers new insights into the processes of lifelong learning, which have important implications for the development of more effective policies.

"... a solid, rigorous piece of research, with relevance far beyond the one area of Wales that the authors studied. It is an important contribution to our understanding of what we (and our policy makers) mean by lifelong learning." Learning and Skills Research

"This is a strong book with a powerful message. Research specialists will be interested by the methods used to investigate learning throughout the lifespan. The findings are highly original, and should make a considerable impact in Britain and elsewhere on scholars and policy makers alike." Professor John Field, Department of Continuing Education, University of Warwick

Gareth Rees is a Professor and the Deputy Director in the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. Stephen Gorard is a Reader in the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. Ralph Fevre is a Professor in the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. John Furlong is a Professor in the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences.

Contents: Contemporary policies for a learning society; Lifelong learning trajectories; History, place and the learning society: the case of South Wales; Patterns of individual participation in adult learning; Families and the formation of learner identities; Lifelong learning trajectories and the two dimensions of change over time. The role of informal learning with Ralph Fevre; The learning society and the economic imperative; The impact of policies to widen participation with Neil Selwyn; The prospects for a learning society.