ABSTRACT

In the opening chapters of this book we have shown how this globalised world is dominated by a capitalism that demands certain forms of lifelong learning and a certain type of learning society; education has responded to this in its normal manner – as a functionary, a servant of the power elite of society whether it be the church, the state or the economic system. There has, however, always been a critical element in education which led, for instance, to the emergence of critical adult education – but because of this perspective it had never been part of the mainstream and it had to be by-passed when education became an essential contributor to the capitalist system. At the time the mechanism by which it occurred was not really detected: traditional education was extended and continuing education became a part of the educational vocabulary. Having extended schooling, continuing education was like a cuckoo in the nest – it elbowed out critical adult education and made the existence of liberal adult education much more difficult. The changes were hardly noticed because the vocabulary was changed – education became learning, adult education became adult learning and continuing education became lifelong learning. But the institution of learning was still the servant of the supreme master, although it was rarely called vocational education; it also served the second-in-command – the state.