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Education Today 2009

The OECD Perspective

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This book presents OECD's main messages regarding the current state of education. Organised into nine sections, this report examines early childhood, schooling, transitions beyond initial education, higher education, adult education, lifelong learning, outcomes and returns, equity, and innovation. Each section offers both key findings and orientations for policy. All sections highlight the main messages in a concise and accessible way, with reference to the original OECD sources.

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Lifelong Learning

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

“Lifelong Learning” has been a defining goal for education and training policies for many years, emphasising the need for organised learning to take place over the whole lifespan and across the different main spheres that make up our lives (“life-wide”). OECD data confirm how extensive educational “careers” have become. There have been discrete studies which shed light on the nature of the challenge: the need to question the continued “front-end” expansion of education systems if lifelong learning is to be achieved; the room for considerable improvement in guidance systems; the importance of financing and qualification systems. Despite acknowledgement of its importance, holistic analyses of lifelong learning have been less a feature of OECD work in recent years and the relatively dated evidence base comparing countries in their implementation of this broad aim similarly underlines that implementation in countries is patchy and often disappointing.

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