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Lifewide Education

Page history last edited by Norman Jackson 10 years, 7 months ago



Most people are familiar with the idea of lifelong learning to represent an individual’s learning and development throughout the whole of their life-span. But we are less familiar with the complementary concept of 'lifewideness,' the learning and development that occurs more or less contemporaneously in multiple and varied places and situations throughout an individual's life course.Yet it is the lifewide dimension of life that we actually notice and participate in every day.


Lifewideness is a simple idea. It recognises that most people no matter what their age or circumstances simultaneously inhabit a number of different spaces - like work or education, running a home, being a member of a family, being involved in a club or society, travelling and taking holidays and looking after themselves mentally, physically and spiritually. We live out our lives in these different spaces, we make decisions about what we choose to be involved in, we meet and interact with different people, have different sorts of relationships, adopt different roles and identities, and think, behave and communicate in different ways. We engage in different sorts of experiences, encounter different sorts of challenges and problems, seize or miss opportunities, and aspire to achieve our ambitions.


Lifewide education explicitly recognises that people learn and develop through their lifewide experiences and promotes and values these forms of learning. By reframing our perception of what counts as learning and development, and developing the means of recognizing and valuing the learning and development gained in a learner’s lifewide experiences, formal education could enable learners to develop a deeper appreciation of how, what, when and why they are learning in the different parts of their lives. Heightened self-awareness is likely to help them become more effective at learning through their own experiences and this should be an essential outcome of any educational system that prepares people for the challenges of a complex ever changing world.


Concept Papers






Talks, Workshops & Conferences


Enabling a More Complete Education Conference Wiki April 2010


Lifewide Student Development Symposium March 2011


University of Worcester January 2011





Learning for a Complex World:

A lifewide concept of learning, education and personal development

Edited by

Norman Jackson



Lifewide Education Community Interest Company 
























Chalk Mountain

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