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Towards an Integrated Approach for Research on Lifelong Learning
Kirschner, Paul A.
Sloep, Peter B.
Caniels, Marjolein C. J.
Article from Bulletin/Magazine - ilmiah internasional
Educational Technology: The Magazine for Managers of Change in Education vol. 49 no. 03 (Jun. 2009)
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There is little dispute that lifelong learning is essential to the further development of the knowledge society. Nonetheless, lifelong learning is not reaching its full potential because the currently used approaches to lifelong learning are too fragmented and, often, formal approaches to education and learning are simply "translated" from initial secondary and higher education to the field of lifelong learning. This article discusses an integrated framework for carrying out research on lifelong learning. The framework is built on two dimensions: (1) the "specific-generic" dimension, linking contextualized research findings in the field of lifelong learning to generic issues and principles; and (2) the "individual-collective" dimension, linking research findings on the personal and professional development of individual lifelong learners to the level of organizations, cities, and regions. Moreover, three integrative features of research on lifelong learning are identified: Developed approaches should be (1) "responsive" to societal and technological changes and associated changes in required competencies; (2) "flexible" in order to serve highly heterogeneous groups of lifelong learners; and (3) "sustainable" to be of value across the whole lifespan. Finally, research and practical implications of the presented framework are discussed.
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