Month: March 2015


The Practice of Lifelong Learning in Different Countries


Since the establishment of the theory of lifelong education, it has been attached great importance by all countries. Channels, and with the principle of lifelong education to restructure and design their own national education system, trying to establish a comprehensive implementation of lifelong education system from kindergarten to university for the aged, from family education to enterprise education.

1. Making Regulations

Through legislation, many countries have established the theory of lifelong education in law as the basic guiding ideology for the development and reform of education in China today and in the future. For example, Japan established the Lifelong Learning Bureau in 1988 and promulgated and implemented the Lifelong Learning Revitalization and Rectification Act in 1990. In the United States, a Lifelong Education Bureau was set up within the Federal Bureau of Education, and the Lifelong Learning Act was enacted and promulgated in 1976. In 1971, the French National Assembly enacted and passed a relatively perfect adult education law, the Lifelong Vocational Education Act, and in 1984 passed a new Vocational Continuing Education Act, which made Supplementary Provisions on some issues. In Korea, lifelong education was written into the Constitution in the early 1980s, and lifelong education policy began to be implemented. Many countries such as the Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden and Canada have enacted corresponding laws for lifelong education.

2. Incorporating Adult Education

In 1976, the Nairobi Conference adopted the Recommendations on the Development of Adult Education, which proposed that adult education should be part of lifelong education as a whole, and that education should not be limited to the school stage, but should be extended to all aspects of life and to all areas of skills and knowledge. Under the influence of this idea of lifelong education, governments all over the world regard adult education as the forerunner to promote the process of lifelong education, attach great importance to adult education, and ensure the development of adult education by making laws. In 1976, Norway was the first country in the world to adopt the Adult Education Act, which regarded adult education as the basis of lifelong learning system and promoted coordination and cooperation in various fields of adult education. In 1982, Korea enacted the Social (Adult) Education Act and institutionalized social (Adult) education. The education plan adopted by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1973 classifies adult education as the fourth kind of education in parallel with the primary, secondary and higher education of general education. In order to ensure the implementation of adult education, many effective measures have been taken in many countries, such as flexible policies on admission conditions, paid education leave system, economic assistance, and the establishment of adult credit cumulative courses.

3. Opening to the Society

Changing the closed structure of schools and forming an open and flexible educational structure is an important practice in implementing lifelong education in various countries. In 1995, Japan held a “Lifelong Learning Review Conference” composed of well-known people from all walks of life, which required higher education institutions to open their doors to society and widely absorb in-service adults into higher education institutions. Adult universities in Japan have been incorporated into the University plan. Some senior high schools also hold open lectures to make high schools open to the community and play the role of cultural center of the school. In the United States, especially after the 1960s, social colleges aimed at district development have been vigorously developed, and their openness to adults has reached almost no limit. Many universities have set up university opening departments to carry out educational activities for “non-traditional students”. There are also open universities and adult education ministries in the UK, which provide adult education. In many countries in Europe, universities provide opportunities for continuing and returning education through public lectures, adult education centers and correspondence courses.

4. Developing in Various Channels

Many countries consciously incorporate cultural organizations, community organizations, vocational associations, enterprises and institutions into the lifelong education system, making full use of all kinds of resources and facilities with educational strength and value in society, so as to integrate education and society. In 1988, Japan put forward the proposal of “transition to lifelong education system”, developing social education organizations, establishing learning information networks, establishing a lifelong education system integrating family, society and school education, and incorporating various scientific and cultural facilities such as cultural clubs, libraries, museums and activity centers into the scope of education. Many non-educational institutions in the United States, such as prisons, trade unions, the military and hospitals, are also actively engaged in adult education. Many companies also provide training to their employees on a regular basis.
Although all countries have made some achievements in the field of lifelong education, on the whole, lifelong education is still in practice in all countries in the world, and no country has really established a complete lifelong education system.

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