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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article examines different approaches to lifelong learning. The documents have been analyzed where continuing education is under review: E. For’s report “Learning to Be”, presented in 1972 by UNESCO; the report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) “Recurrent education: a strategy for lifelong learning”; report of the International Commission on Education for the 21st century: “Learning: The Treasure Within”. Their practical importance has been demonstrated. Important is the awareness of the international community of the need for continuing education. Necessity of focus on continuing development of the human personality is rationalized, which is impossible without never-ending common cultural development. The personality of the student, development of its individuality, introduction of the students into the world of universal culture, formation of the abilities for its preservation and development among them becomes the meaning and value of education throughout life. Negative tendencies of professional education of specialists of higher and middle level have been revealed: increased interest in the process of professional training of specialists of higher and middle level to the applicative “useful” knowledge at the expense of fundamental knowledge; tendency to instrumental learning of future functionary professionals who quickly reach pragmatic goals that are not fundamentally connected with the life-meaning humanitarian context; understanding of the tasks of upbringing, development of the personality as accompanying to the future professional’s achievement of personhood. These tendencies are assessed as alarming, as the transition to a new information society has complicated the requirements for a specialist in intellectual, political, economic, technical, legal, environmental and physical culture. The sum of value-conscious common cultural knowledge, skills and the constant need for intensive acquisition of actual culture in combination with social and cultural activity is today not only desirable, but the most important professional quality of a specialist in any field of activity.
life-long education, repetitive education, continuous adult education, general cultural development
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