Second Revised Edition
Edited By Pavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler, Hans G. Schuetze and Andrä Wolter
Towards a Quaternary Education and Lifelong Learning System: A Perennial Declamation or an Imminent Future for Higher Education?
Abundant announcements of a new age of quaternary education
For many decades, both key actors in the educational system and the educational researchers predicted that the educational system would move towards fundamental change. And in these predictions, it was widely assumed that learning in life stages beyond youth and learning after the entry into the employment system would expand and would be embedded into a more systematic institutional setting. These predictions implied that higher education would be affected by these changes – irrespective, whether higher education would eventually be only a small or a major player in this growing and increasingly systematic sector.
Actually, three directions of change were often expected or advocated. First, it was assumed widely that the hitherto separate types of institutions would move towards a more articulated, flexible and permeable ‘system’. Second, it was emphasized by many experts that stages of formal learning would become more important than tracks, and the terms ‘primary’ or ‘elementary’, ‘secondary’ and ‘tertiary education’ gained momentum. Finally, it was predicted and wished that teaching and learning beyond the usual age of entry to employment and adulthood would expand substantially and would become an education sector of its own – the fourth, quaternary sector.
These predictions and proposal gained momentum in the early 1970s. The importance of learning beyond these early pre-career stages was underscored almost concurrently by UNESCO (Faure 1972, UNESCO 1975), by OECD (1973) and by various internationally well-known educational researchers (notably Hutchins 1970,...
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