Table of Contents

Lifelong Learning in Europe

Lifelong Learning in Europe

National Patterns and Challenges

Edited by Ellu Saar, Odd Bjørn Ure and John Holford

Combining qualitative and quantitative methods in a wide-ranging international comparative study, the book explores how far the EUs lifelong learning agenda has been successful and what factors have limited its ability to reshape national adult and lifelong learning systems. The chapters also look at adults’ participation in formal education, what they see as the obstacles to taking part, and the nature of their demand for learning opportunities.

Chapter 14: Adult education in Lithuania: towards increasing employability and social cohesion, or neither?

Meilutė Taljūnaitė, Leta Dromantienė, Irena Žemaitaitytė and Liutauras Labanauskas

Subjects: education, education policy, teaching and learning, politics and public policy, education policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, education policy


To paraphrase Cervero and Wilson (2005, p. 4), it can be said that European Union (EU) and member-state policies (not only the literature) have always promoted optimistic views about adult education. However, Jarvis (2004, p. 19) explains that ‘despite the rhetoric about learning enriching our humanity, even our spirituality and the democratic society, the main emphasis of planning in all of these documents is that the end-result of learning will be employability’. We add ‘social cohesion’ to Jarvis’s statement, as in this chapter we seek to explore whether lifelong learning policies and practices in Lithuania have something in common with employability and social cohesion goals. Our chapter draws on data from a 6th Framework project entitled ‘Towards a Lifelong Learning Society in Europe: the Contribution of the Education System’ (LLL2010). The first section presents an overview of the new trends of the policy context of lifelong learning in Lithuania. The next section provides a brief review of literature on employability and social cohesion. In the subsequent three sections we focus on employability and social cohesion as essential in maintaining and securing full employment. A brief discussion of the complexities of these two concepts and how they are operationalized in relation to the politics of adult education in Lithuania is presented. The chapter ends with a conclusion where key points of our discussion are summarized.

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