Lifelong Learning and the University: Rethinking Our Role in a Global Society
Dr W. Franklin Spikes.
Universities throughout the world exist in evermore complicated operational environments. Uncertain economic, social and political conditions, changing demographic circumstances, and declining levels of public and private financial support call for a worldwide re-examination of the role and purpose of higher education today. It is the thesis of this paper that in order to survive, the modern university must reshape itself to increasingly become a key part of a worldwide educational community in which learning occurs in an integrated manner throughout the lifespan.
This paper consists of three sections which are related to such a reconceptualization. First, an examination of the nature and extent of selected social forces which will influence the direction of institutions of higher education in the years ahead is presented. Next, a discussion and review of the conceptual basis for lifelong learning from a variety of viewpoints in the literature is offered. Finally, a series of ideas about how to establish the programmatic place of the university with respect to implementing a model of learning throughout the lifespan in a rapidly changing world is provided.
Dr W. Franklin Spikes (United States)
Department of Foundations and Adult Education College of Education
Kansas State University
W. Franklin Spikes is Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program, Department of Foundations and Adult Education in the College of Education at Kansas State University. He holds the doctorate from Northern Illinois University. He is a Past President of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education; a Fellow of the American Council on Education and most recently was selected to participate in a Fulbright sponsored research and educational project in Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)