LIFELONG LEARNING − CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL CONTEXT WITH MANY CHALLENGES, POSSIBILITIES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR UNIVERSITY TEACHERS
Radovan R. Grandić,
Maja M. Bosanac
Lifelong learning represents a multifaced concept. For the purposes of this paper we analyze the implications of lifelong learning on higher education, first of all, on university teachers. The aim of this paper is to examine the complexity of the process of lifelong learning which, in the contemporary social context is facing numerous challenges, and also and possibilities to which we approach critically and analitically. As a starting point for the analysis of the concept of lifelong learning we take a division that encompasses three levels of its development: (1) personal and cultural, (2) social, and (3) professional development. Our starting point is that it is necessary for each of these, above mentioned levels, to have a smilar significance, and that university teachers play an important role in this process. Furthermore, we also pay attention to the critical approach which lifelong learning process sees as a purely market-oriented concept, often mentioned and as academic capitalism. Due to numerous life challenges in the modern world, as important life skills for the 21st century, we emphasize reasons for integrating and encouraging civic engagement, in order to prevent that competence and profit become the primary dimension of lifelong learning. As a consequence of the interaction of the university and its external communities and the internal environment we consider as relevant to present Macfarlan’s model of components of the academic profession which includes: (a) political literacy, (b) social and moral responsibility, (c) community engagement (academic and non-academic). As a conclusion of this paper we state that, although market practice has a huge impact on education, its impact should not be dominant, but in harmonization with personal and social development, and representatives of social and human sciences play the most important role in its preservation.
Keywords: lifelong learning, personal development, social development, civic engagement, university teachers
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