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School is school and work is work and never the twain shall meet, or?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2003 (English)In: EducatiOnlineArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The background of this paper is the political action programme initiated by the Swedish government aiming at increasing the cooperation between school and working life. The idea of closer connections between school and working life is not uncontroversial. This paper presents two different perspectives on the subject. One perspective argues that the social context is vital for learning in order to create meaningful learning in real-life settings as learning is rooted in practice and social participation. From this perspective close connections between school and working life is desired. Seen from another perspective school is supposed to be a separate practice in order to acculturate learning to make it applicable in a variety of contexts. Closer connections with working life are therefore not needed. The political idea of closer connections between school and working life can be found within a neoliberal discourse talking about the role of schooling as fostering self-directed lifelong learners within the so-called knowledge society. That raises the question of what kind of learning and knowledge that is regarded as useful, both in society in general and in working life, today and for the future and whether a closer connection between school and working life will serve that purpose.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2943OAI: diva2:141325
Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, University of Hamburg, 17-20 September 2003 Network 23: Policy Studies and Politics of EducationAvailable from: 2008-02-22 Created: 2008-02-22 Last updated: 2011-08-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On lifelong learning as stories of the present
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On lifelong learning as stories of the present
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the discursive construction of lifelong learning in Swedish, Australian and American policy. Lifelong learning has an aura of apparent self-evidence which this study wishes to challenge by deconstructing the normalised truths in contemporary lifelong learning policies. The thesis rests on a collection of four articles, written by the author within the framework of the PhD programme. Using foucauldian concepts of power/knowledge and governmentality, this study identifies a number of discursive stories about the present in terms of how the ideal society and its ideal citizens are envisioned. It shows that there are national differences in the usage of lifelong learning in terms of the meanings given to life, long and learning. Yet three stories also extend across the nations examined. First, learning is construed as work-related rather than a life-related. Secondly, the positive rhetoric of lifelong learning – the creation of ideal citizens – is accompanied by a parallel story of deviance, incompetence and failure. This leads to a third pervasive story of ‘medicalization’ where the deviant is pathologised as an undesirable other in need of treatment and correction by professionals who operate as the doctors and nurses of lifelong learning. Overall, the analysis suggests that as discourse, lifelong learning links the government of others and the government of the self.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Pedagogik, 2008. 68 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 84
Lifelong learning, discourse, history of the present, stories, power/knowledge, governmentality, the other, pathology, medicalisation, diskurs, berättelser, patologisering, medikalisering, livslångt lärande
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1540 (URN)978-91-7264-436-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-03-14, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-02-22 Created: 2008-02-12 Last updated: 2010-02-19Bibliographically approved

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Berglund, Gun
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