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Lifelong education for subjective well-being: how do engagement and active citizenship contribute?

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This article addresses the question: how can lifelong education contribute to subjective well-being by engaging learners and fostering active citizenship? The question arises due to the fact that governments in the western world have identified well-being as an important policy driver. Well-being research suggests that subjective well-being, student engagement and active citizenship are interconnected—that engagement and active citizenship contribute to subjective well-being. The paper discusses three emerging views about how lifelong education can engage learners in active citizenship. One conforms to mainstream views that lifelong education must prepare learners for success in a globalized world as global citizens. Another holds that lifelong education must be reformed to create global citizens who contribute to social well-being. A third view aligns with social critical perspectives that lifelong education must advance well-being through social justice. The paper concludes by discussing how conforming, reforming and radical views about lifelong education can enhance active citizenship, engagement and well-being.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Educational Studies, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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