chapter  6
25 Pages

Realizing lifelong learning

We have now explored policy discourses of flexibility and their global emergence with those of lifelong learning. The focus within this chapter is on action for reform within and through the descriptions specifically promoting lifelong learning within recent formal policy documents of the United Kingdom and the European Union. Policy texts act internally to build up the facticity of their own descriptions of the world and to undermine alternative possibilities in order that they may promote reform of lifelong learning they seek to promote. Through the analysis of an ensemble of policy documents and events that began in 1998 and is still unfolding, the rhetorical strategies drawn upon and deployed will be made visible. Political struggle is thus not only a question of who has the ‘better’ truth, but one of the rhetorical strategies that are used and deployed successfully to persuade within policy. Indeed, it is the attempt at the forging of a relationship between the policies of EU member states at a national level, which is in part the expressed intention of contemporary EU policies. This involves the deployment of quite specific rhetorical strategies. These attempt to align member states’ activities through a quite specific discourse of lifelong learning and its associated strategies. The analysis of this chapter could thus be seen as a ‘case’ in such an attempt, an attempt to see what this form of analysis can make of it. It is limited, of course, as it forges a particular ensemble of events for analysis, manifesting its own rules of inclusion and exclusion.