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UNESCO’s Utopia of Lifelong Learning – An Intellectual History

Elfert M., UNESCO’s Utopia of Lifelong Learning - An Intellectual History, Routledge 2017, ISBN:1138242527, Pages: 284

This book examines the shifts that UNESCO’s educational concepts have undergone, with a focus on lifelong learning, in reaction to historical pressures and dilemmas since the founding of the organization in 1945. The book highlights tensions between UNESCO’s humanistic worldview and pressures placed on the organization that have led UNESCO to depart from its utopian vision of lifelong learning, while claiming continuity. The history of lifelong learning in UNESCO is interpreted as part of a bigger story of a struggle of ideologies between a humanistic-emancipatory and an economistic-technocratic worldview. With a close study of UNESCO’s two education flagship reports, the Faure and Delors reports, the book seeks to shed light on the global impact of UNESCO’s humanistic goals and its shifting influence on lifelong learning around the world.