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A future for adult lifelong education in Aotearoa New Zealand: neoliberal or cosmopolitan?

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This paper sets out to answer two questions 'Given the policy settings for lifelong learning for adults in Europe and much of the western world, what are the policy settings and experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand?' and 'Will the future of adult lifelong education there be neoliberal or cosmopolitan?' The article first examines some of the roots of post-compulsory education policy in Aotearoa New Zealand over the last 30 years. In particular it considers trends in philosophies and practices about educating adults as well as some of the varied policy discourses prevailing over this period. Next it reviews the ever-changing policy landscape, in particular unresolved tensions between social and economic goals, the acquisition of skills for learning for living and dialogic social purpose learning, and attainment of social cohesion and recognition of diversity. Finally the paper attempts to preview how these tensions may play out in an uncertain future.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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