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Book Review: Lifelong Learning and Higher Education

Book Review: Lifelong Learning and Higher Education Book Reviews 307 Lifelong learning and Higher Education Christopher K. Knapper and Arthur J. Cropley Croom Helm, London, 1985. 201 pp. £15.95 As the authors point out, the notion of lifelong learning is very fuzzy with a number of over­ lapping meanings. The first three chapters of the book are concerned with theoretical and conceptual considerations but I experienced great difficulty in forming a clear idea of what it was the authors were talking about. I finally decided that they took lifelong education to be concerned with promoting a set of skills and attitudes which would encourage and support learning throughout adult life. The book is thus intended to offer 'guidelines for educational practice aimed at fostering learning throughout life' (p. 20). The remaining chapters discuss some of the changes required if higher education institutions are to make this one of their major goals. These include modifications to teaching and assessment methods, adjustments in staff attitudes, and the loosening of institutional constraints which inhibit change. Suggested ways of bringing about change include staff development programs, study skill assistance for students, and a more vigorous deployment of instructional tech­ nology. Chapter S draws attention to a number of approaches to teaching in higher education which embody some of the principles of lifelong education, e.g. problem-based learning, individualized instruction, and distance education. I found this to be the most useful section of the book because it draws upon a wide range of examples and reminds us of the pioneering work of individual teachers who have sought to break away from the rigidities of the lecture system. One devel­ opment which may well bring about very big changes in higher education is the advent of the cheap microcomputer which students can use at home. The authors only consider the impli­ cations of this in passing, which is unfortunate because this is one area in which the interests of staff and students may largely coincide and thus lead to a movement away from traditional on­ campus teaching. This, in turn, will require substantial changes to the design of courses and the ways in which students engage in learning tasks. The problems involved in bringing about change are formidable, and the authors are fully aware of this, but they end on a modestly optimistic note by recognizing the willingness of a substantial minority of academics to experiment and adapt their practice in the service of helping students to learn more effectively. The book includes a useful list of references and a good index. J. P. POWELL University of New South Wales Back to School: The Way Forward? N.A. Day and J.M. Owen AGPS, Canberra, 1984. The Adult Secondary Education Assistance Scheme (ASEAS) provides a means-tested allowance to assist adults (19 or over) who need Year 12 level study for proposed future employment to undertake full-time Years 11/12 studies at a school, TAFE college, or other institution. This document is the report of an evaluation of the ASEAS. Day and Owen used a variety of appropriate methodologies, including analysis of non- con­ fidential application form data, interviews with some 3S former ASEAS students, and a mail questionnaire sent to all 1982 ASEAS students. The authors concluded that ASEAS was very successful in assisting the return of adults to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian Journal of Education SAGE

Book Review: Lifelong Learning and Higher Education

Australian Journal of Education , Volume 30 (3): 1 – Nov 1, 1986

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 1986 Australian Council for Educational Research
ISSN
0004-9441
eISSN
2050-5884
DOI
10.1177/000494418603000312
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Book Reviews 307 Lifelong learning and Higher Education Christopher K. Knapper and Arthur J. Cropley Croom Helm, London, 1985. 201 pp. £15.95 As the authors point out, the notion of lifelong learning is very fuzzy with a number of over­ lapping meanings. The first three chapters of the book are concerned with theoretical and conceptual considerations but I experienced great difficulty in forming a clear idea of what it was the authors were talking about. I finally decided that they took lifelong education to be concerned with promoting a set of skills and attitudes which would encourage and support learning throughout adult life. The book is thus intended to offer 'guidelines for educational practice aimed at fostering learning throughout life' (p. 20). The remaining chapters discuss some of the changes required if higher education institutions are to make this one of their major goals. These include modifications to teaching and assessment methods, adjustments in staff attitudes, and the loosening of institutional constraints which inhibit change. Suggested ways of bringing about change include staff development programs, study skill assistance for students, and a more vigorous deployment of instructional tech­ nology. Chapter S draws attention to a number of approaches to teaching in higher education which embody some of the principles of lifelong education, e.g. problem-based learning, individualized instruction, and distance education. I found this to be the most useful section of the book because it draws upon a wide range of examples and reminds us of the pioneering work of individual teachers who have sought to break away from the rigidities of the lecture system. One devel­ opment which may well bring about very big changes in higher education is the advent of the cheap microcomputer which students can use at home. The authors only consider the impli­ cations of this in passing, which is unfortunate because this is one area in which the interests of staff and students may largely coincide and thus lead to a movement away from traditional on­ campus teaching. This, in turn, will require substantial changes to the design of courses and the ways in which students engage in learning tasks. The problems involved in bringing about change are formidable, and the authors are fully aware of this, but they end on a modestly optimistic note by recognizing the willingness of a substantial minority of academics to experiment and adapt their practice in the service of helping students to learn more effectively. The book includes a useful list of references and a good index. J. P. POWELL University of New South Wales Back to School: The Way Forward? N.A. Day and J.M. Owen AGPS, Canberra, 1984. The Adult Secondary Education Assistance Scheme (ASEAS) provides a means-tested allowance to assist adults (19 or over) who need Year 12 level study for proposed future employment to undertake full-time Years 11/12 studies at a school, TAFE college, or other institution. This document is the report of an evaluation of the ASEAS. Day and Owen used a variety of appropriate methodologies, including analysis of non- con­ fidential application form data, interviews with some 3S former ASEAS students, and a mail questionnaire sent to all 1982 ASEAS students. The authors concluded that ASEAS was very successful in assisting the return of adults to

Journal

Australian Journal of EducationSAGE

Published: Nov 1, 1986

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