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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/2724

Title: Exploring the icebergs of adult learning: findings of the first Canadian Survey of Informal Learning Practices
Authors: Livingstone, David W.
Keywords: informal learning
self-directed learning
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT
Series/Report no.: NALL Working Paper;10
Abstract: This paper provides empirical estimates of the extent and distribution of self-reported learning activities in the current Canadian adult population, based on a recent country-wide survey, and briefly addresses some implications of these adult learning patterns. The basic finding from the survey is that most Canadian adults are spending a great deal and increasing amount of time in learning activities, most of this in informal learning on their own. The major implications are that Canada is already and increasingly a knowledge society in any reasonable sense of the term and that Canadian adults’ mostly informal learning practices should more explicitly be taken into account in shaping educational, economic and other social policies; adult educators should take this detectable informal learning into greater account to develop more responsive further education opportunities. There is a great deal of talk these days about living in the "information age", the "knowledge society" or the "learning society." The study described in this article indicates that adults in Canada now spend an average of 15 hours per week on informal learning. In light of this finding, if the crews of our big education and training ships do not increasingly look out for the massive, detectable icebergs of informal learning, many of their programs may sink into Titanic irrelevancy. However, before the survey findings are presented, informal learning should be distinguished from other basic sites of adult learning and the difficulties involved in studying informal learning should be identified (Author's abstract)
URI: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/10exploring.pdf
Appears in Collections:Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW)

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