Revisiting the Faure report: Contemporary legacy and challenged legitimacy

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Since its publication in 1972, the Faure report has been regarded as a foundational text on the subject of lifelong learning, offering a plethora of ideas and repertoires. This article contemplates why and how the notions of self-fulfilment and self-learning are interrelated and profoundly important in understanding contemporary lifelong learning discourses, and how both have been appropriated by subsequent policy texts embedded in neoliberal thinking. The author argues that pursuing lifelong learning for self-fulfilment becomes voluntary self-exploitation as the individual’s desire to learn unwittingly becomes driven by the instinct to survive and thrive in neoliberal socio-political environments. He also demonstrates that the ideas and repertoires provided in the Faure report function as a fertile ground for lifelong learning discourses, even though the abundant mix of ideas and propositions make it difficult to view the report as an ideologically coherent and conceptually tight-knit blueprint for the future of education. Nonetheless, the author argues that the legacy of the Faure report is still valid beyond its historical specificity. He points out that when read within the context of the unprecedented worldwide experience of COVID-19, the Faure report’s proposition and reservations regarding mass media and cybernetics can shed light on the potential for contemporary technologies to strengthen emancipatory experiences of lifelong learning. Reflecting on this, he suggests that it is necessary to think collectively about how we can appreciate and harness technological innovation as an emancipatory tool to liberate ourselves from ignorance and prejudice through borderless and limitless connections to others, and to learn how to live with them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-707
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Review of Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


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