Models of Lifelong Learning: An Overview

Ted Fleming

in The Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780195390483
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Models of Lifelong Learning: An Overview

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Educational Psychology


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Lifelong learning is a familiar concept in ordinary conversation and in public policy discourses. Though the history, genesis, and various meanings of lifelong learning are noble, it has in more recent times been identified with functional interests, economic goals, and one-dimensional interpretations. This chapter identifies the genesis and grounding of lifelong learning in psychology and adult education, disciplines that establish the foundations for understanding learning. Classical and current learning theories are outlined, including behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism from psychology. Adult education learning theory contributes andragogy, self-directed learning, experiential learning, multiple intelligences, and transformative learning. How adults are taught depends on the meaning one gives to learning. How adults learn is outlined. This more comprehensive interpretation of learning contributes to a better understanding of lifelong learning as not only having an economic focus but an interest in enhancing communities and society.

Keywords: behaviorism; constructivism; self-directed learning; andragogy; experiential learning; transformative learning; multiple intelligences

Article.  8120 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Educational Psychology

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