Mapping our way out? Critical reflections on historical research and the Faure report


  • Barry Hake



Contributions to the literature have postulated an historical shift in policy narratives from the Faure report’s formulation of “lifelong education” for UNESCO in 1972 to a focus on “lifelong learning” since the mid-1990s. It has also been argued that the policy narrative articulated by de-schoolers in the early 1970s was incorporated in the Faure report. This paper critically examines the empirical foundations for such arguments and is based on a re-reading of the policy repertoire articulated by Faure’s report together with an analysis of the de-schoolers’ reception of the report in the early 1970s. Based upon a re-reading of primary texts and secondary sources from the 1970s, the analysis demonstrates that these widely accepted arguments constitute a problematic interpretation of the historical relationships between the key policy narratives in the 1970s. The conclusions identify a number of significant areas for further empirical research regarding the historical relationships between first generation policy narratives.


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How to Cite

Hake, B. (2021). Mapping our way out? Critical reflections on historical research and the Faure report. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults.



30 years of research on adult education, 30 years of ESREA