Education for sale: at what cost? Lifelong learning and the marketplace
This paper examines the influence of the marketplace on discourses in lifelong learning and raises questions about the future direction of these discussions, drawing upon critical and feminist analyses. A brief overview of how the notion of lifelong learning has shifted from an emphasis on cooperation and shared development to a discourse of competition and individualism is given. Drawing upon the works of various educators, an overview is given of some of the ways in which the marketplace has influenced lifelong learning discourses and has become a pervasive presence in academia. Both critical and feminist analyses are used to examine how justice, equity issues, and critical thinking are suppressed when the marketplace becomes a predominant influence in education. An assessment of questions raised by educators working to challenge this marketplace orientation in lifelong learning and suggestions for further areas of research conclude the paper.