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László Zrinszky: Knowledge as an andragogical issue (lifelong learning)

This study is the extended version of a presentation given at the conference "Learning in a Knowledge Based Society", organized by the Educational Comittee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in May 2001. The author's basic assumption is that adults involved in learning usually define knowledge as something that can be directly applied in practice and that can improve career prospects. As a result of acceleration in technical and economical development, continuing education, which aims at preserving competence and at the continuous updating and enhancing of knowledge, became unavoidable. Programs of "Lifelong Learning" and "Learning in Later Life" bring formal, non-formal and informal learning closer to each other but this does not mean that the distinction between them can be blurred. Increasing inequality ­ (both global and local) ­ in the dispersion of knowledge directs our attention to the imperative that learning should be available for the socially disadvantaged too, and it should not simply lengthen the time of schooling for a fortunate few. In addition to fostering cognitive growth, the extended concept of learning involves the development of the whole personality and the slowing down of mental decline at old age, too. The phenomena decribed in the article include both seemingly utopistic elements and the realities of our age, which raises new requirements and will ­ sooner or later ­ enforce their fulfillment.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 102. Number 2. 131-144. (2002)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Zrinszky László, 1133 Budapest, Tutaj u. 1/a


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia