Lifelong learning: An organising principle for reform

Tony Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The idea of learning throughout life has been present in educational thinking since Plato. However, as a guiding principle for integrating educational efforts, it is a much more recent development. This paper canvasses the rise of interest in lifelong learning internationally as a policy initiative, an umbrella under which other learning policies can be accommodated; examines how interest ebbed in recent years; before considering why and how it should be reconceptualised in Australia. It looks at the experience of other similar countries, noting how some governments withdrew support for lifelong learning, resulting in a decline in adult participation, while in others the process of introducing policy change has been maintained and continues even under the strains imposed by the global financial crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-335
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian Journal of Adult Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


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