The Learning Society in a Postmodern World

The Education Crisis

by Kenneth Wain (Author)
©2004 Textbook XVI, 362 Pages
Series: Counterpoints, Volume 260


Lifelong learning has become a key concern as the focus of educational policy has shifted from mass schooling toward the learning society. The shift started in the mid 1960s and early 1970s under the impetus of a group of writers and adult educators, gravitating around UNESCO, with a humanist philosophy and a leftist agenda. The vocabulary of that movement was appropriated in the 1990s by other interests with a very different performativist agenda emphasizing effectiveness and economic outcomes. This change of interest, described in the book, has signified the death of education. The Learning Society in a Postmodern World explores different theoretical resources to respond to this situation, mainly those that propose some restoration of an educated public or, to the contrary, individual self-creation, and uses the works of a broad range of philosophers and thinkers – notably MacIntyre, Habermas, Foucault, Derrida, Rorty, and Baudrillard. In addition, it raises important questions about postmodern and poststructuralist responses to education in the postmodern world. Its comprehensiveness and historical background make it an essential textbook for theoretical courses in lifelong learning and in educational theory in general. A broad range of interests and subject matter make it important reading for educators, policy specialists, media specialists, researchers on the subject of lifelong learning and on the relation between education and the postmodern world, political theorists, philosophers, and philosophers of education.


XVI, 362
ISBN (Softcover)
Lebenslanges Lernen Moderne Erziehungsphilosophie
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2004. XVI, 362 pp.

Biographical notes

Kenneth Wain (Author)

The Author: Kenneth Wain is Professor of Education at the University of Malta, where he has also served as Dean. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy of education from the University of London, Great Britain. In addition to numerous articles in professional journals, he is the author of The Maltese National Curriculum: A Critical Evaluation, The Value Crisis, Philosophy of Lifelong Education, and Theories of Teaching.


Title: The Learning Society in a Postmodern World