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The ideal of education as a lifelong endeavor is old and found in many of the world’s societies and cultures (Faure et al., 1972). In these societies and cultures, it was usually an ideal for an elite group of scholars and perceived in terms of their personal flourishing. This entry discusses the evolution of the idea of lifelong education and its institutionalization and the key elements of the lifelong education movement.

Bogdan Suchodolski quotes Comenius’s writing on pampaedia, or universal education, as the first treatise on the subject (Suchodolski, 1979, p. 36). After World War I, however, a British Adult Education Committee of the Ministry of Reconstruction argued in 1919 for the need for adult learning to be both universal and lifelong (Gestrelius, 1979). “Adult education,” ...

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