Exploring the ‘new’ imperatives of technology-based lifelong learning

Neil Selwyn, Stephen Gorard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In the United Kingdom, since 1997, the New Labour gvernment, along with other public and private actors with vested interests, has been responsible for a steady but subtle (re)construction and (re)positioning of ‘lifelong learning’ – ostensibly moving away from a notion based upon an economic compulsion for individuals to participate in credentialised vocational education and training. A significant element of this shift has been the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in a rebranding of lifelong learning from an avowedly economic concern to a societal and even moral pursuit for the ‘information age’. This article considers how this ‘technofication’ of lifelong learning has been engineered to appear as constituting a ‘remoralisation’ of education and training; i.e. a reconstruction of lifelong learning as more than just an economic duty, but also as a civic and societal duty for the information age as well as being a ‘good’ and intrinsically nourishing activity for individuals to pursue. Having mapped out the nature of these ‘new’ imperatives and the discourses surrounding them, the article then goes onto assess the likelihood of these technology-based forms of learning achieving the goal of stimulating sustained lifelong learning for all individuals in society where previous policymaking has failed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-92
Number of pages20
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

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