Lifelong learning as bungy jumping: In New Zealand what goes down doesn't always come up
From 1984 until 1999, New Zealand's economic 'reforms' were a model for others, particularly Canadians. At the centre of this model was lifelong learning which bore little relationship to the social democratic ethos embedded in Faure Report conceptions of lifelong education. In New Zealand, lifelong learning slept in the same bed as the 'marketization' of education. The radical excesses of the New Zealand Experiment might have ended with the December, 1999 election of a Labour/Alliance government. This paper traces the genesis of the post-1984 brand of lifelong learning in New Zealand, identifies consequences for universities and shows how educational policy needs to go backwards and forwards at the same time.
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