New Publication from Dr. Kapil Regmi

Habermas, lifeworld and rationality: Towards a comprehensive model of lifelong learning

Published in the International Journal of Lifelong Education

Major supranational organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union, and the World Bank have used lifelong learning as a strategy to boost economic competitiveness both at individual and national levels. In the literature related to lifelong learning this is characterised as the economistic model of lifelong learning. The humanistic model of lifelong learning, which appears as an alternative of the economistic model, takes education and learning as a fundamental human right for all individuals irrespective of their age, gender and class. However, this model is criticised as a vague, rhetorical and utopian ideal with little potential for informing educational policy decisions at national level. Using some key Habermasian conceptualisations, mainly the colonisation of the lifeworld and communicative rationality, this paper argues that three major dimensions of human learning informed by Habermas – transformative, citizenship and intersubjective – can contribute towards the development of a more comprehensive model of lifelong learning.