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