Education and Learning

The Economic Development Strategy for the South Waikato identifies Education and Learning as a key economic driver - especially in the constantly changing, knowledge-based economy, of the 21st Century.

Based on what other people have achieved around the world:

For more information check out the following resources:

Lifelong Learning - A pathway to social and economic cohesion. A presentation by Vicky Adin on behalf of the Papakura Lifelong Learning Trust. (Click here to download an Adobe Acrobat version of the presentation.)

The Learning Web - A FREE on-line version of summary of the best-selling book "The Learning Revolution" which sold 11 million copies in 1999.  The book, written by Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette Vos, covers the best ways to learn - anything.

Lifelong Learning
A pathway to social and economic cohesion
A presentation by Vicky Adin on behalf of the Papakura Lifelong Learning Trust
.Title #.
1. .A pathway to social and economic cohesion 13. .The Learning Society Concept
2. .The Difference in Philosophy 14. .Ten characteristics of a Learning Society
3. .Economic Change 15. .Why should local councils be involved?
4. .Social Change 16. .Learning Society requirements
5. .Technological change 17. .How can councils apply the Learning Society concept?
6. .Today’s reality 18. .The Learning City Development Process
7. .Lifelong Learning - What is it? 19. .Perceived Barriers to Learning
8. .The Four Pillars of Learning UNESCO Report 20. .Ten Indicators of a Learning Organisation
9. .The Three Dimensions of Lifelong Learning 21. .A City Charter for a Learning City
10. .Why is Lifelong Learning important? 22. .How much will it all cost?
11. .Old and new styles of delivering learning 23. .Innovative use of budgets
12. .The difference in philosophy 24. .Presentation Conclusion

Lifelong Learning Next Slide

A pathway to social and economic cohesion
Presented by Vicky Adin on behalf of the
Papakura Lifelong Learning Trust


This presentation is to introduce territorial local authorities (TLAs) to the philosophy of Lifelong Learning and the economic, social, and personal advantages that could be gained from becoming a Learning Society.

Backing this philosophy is the recently released government Tertiary Education Strategy. In his Ministerial Foreword, the Hon. Steve Maharey, says:

“The Strategy is one for ‘tertiary education’, and by that I mean all of the learning that takes place in the field of post-school education and training…It is as much about what happens on the job as it is about what happens in universities and research institutes. It is as much about foundation education and training which bridges people into further education and training, or into a job, as it is about world-class doctoral study. It is as much about relevance as it is about excellence.

[The] reforms include: better integration of the Industry Training system, Adult and Community Education and Training Opportunities and Youth Training Programmes, within the wider tertiary education system…And it is essential that we find ways to ensure that business and communities, in addition to providers and local and central government agencies are part of the partnership that underpins the implementation and refinement of this Strategy.”

Copies of the Tertiary Education Strategy may be obtained by from the Ministry of Education site at:
Click on the "Tertiary" link and follow the prompts.

Alternatively, send an e-mail message to: and the Ministry of Education will post out hard copies at no charge.

The necessity for Lifelong Learning Next Slide

As we enter the 21st century we face an array of changes:

Economic changes

Social changes

Technological changes


It is an established fact that society is changing. The world economy is in transition - from the industrial age to the knowledge age. There are shifts in employment patterns as new industries replace old. There is a change in the ethnic and age composition of our communities. As a result of these changes barriers to trade are coming down and we are now part of a global economy. At the same time, the application and convergence of computing and communication technologies has accelerated the development of global business and the global market place. Technology is now an integral part of the workplace, our homes, our community, our very way of living.

As can be seen by the Strategy, there is a need, seen by politicians, educators and business people alike, to “do something” about raising the general educational standards of adults world-wide and to look at broader definitions of ‘learning’.

Economic Change Next Slide

Knowledge Economy




Complexity, risk, uncertainty, sudden shifts


As our country moves into the new millennium, and we seek ways of addressing the need to become a Knowledge Society, we not only face a bewildering mix of uncertainty, risk, insecurity and division, but also opportunity.

The challenges of rapid change are all around us. They can be seen in radical shifts in the organisation of industry, business and labour markets.

They are apparent in the rapid changes in occupations and the demand for new skills, and manifest themselves in new technology and communication systems.

Gone are the days of a single career path for most people.

These challenges feature in the need to meet increased competition, and in the requirement for new skills and capacities at work.

They are evident in the demand for new products and services and in the radical and far reaching transformation of technology, information and communications now in existence.
These changes are having great impact on individuals as they struggle to meet these challenges.

The Tertiary Education Strategy outlines the goals and priorities it sees as necessary to meet these challenges and provide the means and opportunities for members of our society to become an active part of the Knowledge Economy.

Social Change

An ageing society
Poverty, exclusion, disadvantaged groups
Changes in ethnicity and demographics
Urban versus rural lifestyles
Changes in family types
Changes in housing styles


Statistics show that we are an ageing society. Life expectancy at present is into the 80s, but people are retiring or becoming unemployed at 50 something, so there is a need for these people to continue with active and interesting lives. Lifelong Learning is a ‘cradle to grave’ process and each and every member of our society plays an important and integral part in its welfare.

“A truly human society is a learning society where grandparents, parents and children are students together” (Hoffer. 1973).

Statistics also show that an increasing number of people are on the poverty line. These people are disadvantaged the most in applying for employment or having the confidence to take up learning opportunities. These are the very adults in our community whom we must encourage and provide easier, more cohesive and more connected pathways to learning for them to fulfil their learning potential. We need to be proactive about addressing their needs.
There is an increasing drift to urban and city lifestyles, rather than rural or small towns, as people search for jobs. We are experiencing major changes in family types. There is an increase in the ethnic and the demographic make-up of our community. The nuclear family is no longer the norm, as we look at single parent families, extended families, mixed families, and so on.

There is also a move away from the traditional three bedroom, stand alone house on a section. All of these changes provide barriers within our community. We need to lift those barriers and provide the right environment to make change possible, because people need to adapt and change to meet the challenges offered by the 21st century.

Technological change Next Slide

Information and Communication Technologies
Changing methods and patterns of communication
Shift from linear to network societies
Digital divide


There is no doubt that those who do not understand, use and develop technology within their field are disadvantaged in the global market. Where once we wrote letters now we send e-mails. Where once one telephone in the house was a luxury we now have multiple land lines, computer communication, and use mobiles. We have cable communication, data networks, satellite links, and increasingly technological developments are ahead of its usage.
There is a radical shift from linear based systems to networked systems.

Those on the wrong side of the digital divide are finding themselves disadvantaged even further.

What is Lifelong Learning?

It is a cradle to grave process
It includes formal, non-formal, informal, and incidental learning
It is learner driven
It boosts confidence
It provides cohesion

"It provides both a structural and mental framework which allows its citizens to understand and react positively to change" (Longworth 1999)
In the words of Dr. David McNulty, Chair, UK Learning City Network, "Lifelong Learning is the glue that enables thriving and healthy communities. It is vibrant and competitive --- but also diverse and inclusive. Just as railways, plumbing and sewerage systems enabled the great Victorian Cities, so will Learning and Communications systems enable the great 21st century cities. The future is already here .... it’s just not evenly distributed" (2000).
In the words of Prof Norman Longworth, Chair, Towards a European Learning Society (TELS) "It has to be ‘learning’ - not teaching, not course provision, not training, but an out and out focus on the needs and demands of the learners, however strange they may be" (1999)
The following statement from the UK Department of Education and Employment epitomises the general philosophy of lifelong learning: "Learning offers excitement and opportunity for discovery. It stimulates enquiring minds and nourishes our souls. It takes us in directions we never expected; sometimes changing our lives... [Learning] contributes to social cohesion and fosters a sense of belonging, responsibility and identity" (1998)
From Building a Learning City - Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow. "Lifelong Learning is not just restricted to the workplace - it needs to apply to everyone throughout their life time. Learning needs to be a seamless process, as instinctive as breathing, which makes the most of an individual’s potential and boosts their self-respect"

We come now to what is Lifelong Learning and how it can help your community. It covers a range of opportunities, has a range of names and it is not new, just resurgent.

So, let us now try to define Lifelong Learning. Skill New Zealand emphasises the need to acknowledge “we are in the throes of another technology revolution...[which] demands lifelong learning from us all. (1998). In the past there has been no understanding of lifelong learning covering a wider range of ‘learning’ opportunities that were separate to the ‘educational’ opportunities that were offered by formal educational facilities.

Angela Foulkes, former President of CTU, made some broad and serious statements about the social and economic implications of people not being able to access the right information and, therefore, not able “to fulfill [their] potential and contribute adequately. We need intervention on a national scale. The problem is not with schools or teachers. It is because we have never made adult education a national priority. Someone has to stop and say we want to give people a second chance to learn” (1998).

The Tertiary Education Strategy seeks to specifically address the issue of adult education in its broadest context.
Dr David McNulty is Chair of the Learning City network, which is the largest learning communities network in Europe with over 40 members. He is also Lifelong Learning Manager, Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council. This Council is one of the few councils to gain an award as an example of good practice of education and training.

Professor Norman Longworth is a world renowned proponent on lifelong learning and author of two books. He is currently Project Evaluator for a European Union Project - Promoting Active Lifelong Learning in Australasia, Canada and Europe (PALLACE). He visited New Zealand in late June 2002, to confirm details of an International Conference and Learning Festival to be hosted by Papakura Lifelong Learning Trust as part of the PALLACE project. He is also Chair of ‘Towards a European Learning Society’. Past President of European Lifelong Learning Initiative (ELLI), advisor to World Initiative Lifelong Learning (WILL), the European Commission OECD and UNESCO.

The success of the Lifelong Learning philosophy in the UK, (especially in Scotland and England), Europe and Australia is mostly to do with their political systems for the delivery of educational programmes.

To mention just a few, England has a Minister for Lifelong Learning, there is a Learning City Network, and much of the responsibility for the delivery of the education system lies with the local authority. 1996 was named the European Year of Lifelong Learning. Australia has a State and Federal system for education, and it is the State system that has become involved with the lifelong learning philosophy and introduced the Learning City concept. It also has an active, linked and cohesive network for adult learning through the Australian Adult Learning Association that is promoting and developing the Learning City concept.

The Four Pillars of Learning UNESCO Report
Jacques Delors (1995) Next Slide

Learning to Know
Learning to Do
Learning to Be
Learning to Live Together

global versus local
universal versus the individual
traditional versus the modern
long term versus short term
equality of opportunity
expanse of knowledge
spiritual and cultural versus material


The UNESCO Commission for Education, under Jacques Delors, established the Four Pillars of Learning together with some of the considerations that need to be addressed in looking at current communities, how they function, and what impact they have on our society.

Learning to know: which concerns developing ones’ concentration, memory skills and ability to think.

Learning to Do: which concerns personal competence in the field of occupational training.

Learning to Be: that education should contribute to every person’s complete development - mind and body, intelligence, sensitivity, aesthetic appreciation and spirituality.

Learning to live together: which concentrates on reducing world violence and raising awareness of the similarities and interdependence on all people.

The Three Dimensions of Lifelong Learning Next Slide

Personal Fulfillment

Personal growth
Love of learning
Knowledge, skills and attitudes
Economic Development

Knowledge Economy
Ecological integrity
Social Development

Caring citizenship
Quality of life
Active participation
Cultural richness


The three dimensions of lifelong learning are:

- Personal fulfillment for individuals
- Economic development of districts, regions and nations
- Social development of communities

Put all of this together and you create a Vision for Lifelong Learning.

Why is Lifelong Learning important?

provides cohesion and connectedness
provides inclusiveness
stimulates new partnerships
changes focus from institutions to learners and learning
boosts competitiveness
improves quality of life
reduces unemployment
promotes cultural development
reduces barriers
reduces inequality


There is a growing world wide trend to now include all formal, informal, community and employment related learning opportunities under the heading of ‘tertiary’.

Its purpose is to encourage a love of learning from ‘cradle to grave’. learning for learning’s sake and learning that is controlled by the learner, not by the provider.

The philosophy is based on the premise that if you put the needs of the learner first, rather than the needs of society or the employer, and encourage learners to learn what they want to learn, then a general attitudinal change to learning will occur.

The assumption is that this approach will open the learner’s mind to new ideas and perspectives, allowing the needs of society and the employer to re-emerge.

Therefore, it will be easier for the learner to go on learning and take up specific, focussed and formal educational qualifications.

That, in turn, may well change the way society and the employer does things now. As a consequence of this development, the emphasis on adult learning has changed.

We now need to emphasise the difference between what ‘learning’ is and what an ‘education’ is, from the learner’s perspective.

Previous Slide
Old and new styles of delivering ‘learning’ Next Slide


  • Formal
  • Formal
  • Informal
  • Reflexive
  • Mainstream budgets
  • Initiatives
  • Special projects
  • Provider driven
  • Learner led
  • Segmented
  • Competitive
  • Age driven & elitist
  • Majority leave @ 16 or 18
  • Integrated
  • Collaborative
  • All age & open to all
  • Lifelong
  • Teachers
  • Classrooms
  • Schools closed 75% of year
  • Autonomous learners
  • Networked learning centres
  • All day, all ye

Old New
Character Formal

Funding Mainstream budgets
Special projects

Focus Provider driven
Learner led

Structure Segmented
Age driven & elitist
Majority leave @ 16 or 18
All age & open to all

Delivery Teachers
Schools closed 75% of year
Autonomous learners
Networked learning centres
All day, all year 24/7


As this chart demonstrates, the Lifelong Learning Concept is substantially different from established educational systems. For a start it addresses those most in need, those potential learners who were labelled ‘learning failures’ at school, or those who don’t know where to start, so never bother.

The concept of a Learning Society is to demonstrate to learners that there are alternative pathways to learning, and that informal or non-formal learning may be just as important as formal learning. This ‘one step at a time’ process will be encouraged so that learners are not ‘frightened off’ by the seemingly endless formal process. They will be taught that learning to master one task is all they need to do to achieve another skill.

The essence of Lifelong Learning is that :
Learning should become as natural as breathing
Learning should be both lifelong and life-wide
Learning is about securing our future.
Lifelong learning is a self-perpetuating process - the more successful it is, the more successful it becomes.


Thank you for this opportunity to present this proposal to you.

The Tertiary Education Strategy is the most radical shift in ideology for some time and should be greeted with enthusiasm and optimism. It is a living document and many changes will be made to it yet, but over the next five years we should see some interesting and effective changes in the tertiary system. I hope you choose to be a part of it.

I would like to acknowledge the people, whose knowledge, experience, and passion for Lifelong Learning has been a catalyst to my own, and without whose help I could not have compiled this presentation.

Attached for your information are references for further readings and websites that may assist you in implementing the Learning Society concept.