Document Abstract

Factors and motivations affecting attitudes towards and propensity to learn through the life course (Future Skills and Lifelong Learning evidence review)

Looks at the promotion of learning throughout adult life, and the factors and motivations affecting attitudes to learning and propensity to learn. Finds that the propensity to participate is strongly influenced by family experience of and attitudes towards education (parental involvement in school has four times the impact of social class); by earlier education experience, and by expectations at work. Suggests that access to technology has only modest impact, while home, school, work and community interact in complex ways to foster or inhibit participation. Argues that significant life-stage transitions (including childbirth, changing job, redundancy, children leaving home, bereavement, retirement) also influence participation, and can provide the motivation to learn – though participation decreases among older adults. Determines that the motivation to participate is affected by the extent of individual self-efficacy, supportive peer groups, access to effective advice and guidance, and easily accessible and affordable provision, and that supply stimulates demand. Concludes that policy options for maximising participation include family and inter-generational learning; re-developing schools and colleges as community learning hubs; supporting learning cities; strengthening advice and guidance; targeting entitlements on under-represented groups, and securing sufficient supply.


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Tuckett, Alan; Field, John
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Government Office for Science

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