Learners or participants? The pros and cons of 'lifelong learning'

Roger Mantie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Whereas adult education used to be the preferred concept for those studying adult music-making, there is now an increasing trend away from this and towards lifelong learning. Uncritically adopting government lifelong learning discourses, however, blurs the line between educational ideals and political ones. Although there may be merit in the claims for the benefits of learning throughout the lifespan, I suggest that the meaning and values of practice in community music activities far exceed that of learning for learning's sake. I argue in this article that there are compelling reasons for reconsidering the use of the term 'lifelong learning' for community music activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-235
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Community Music
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult education
  • Community music
  • Discourse analysis
  • Government policy
  • Lifelong learning
  • Music learning
  • Participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music


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