Inclusion and exclusion in later life learning

Bernhard Schmidt-Hertha, Brian Findsen, Zhen Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


The concept and practices associated with learning in later life provide a broad context for understanding the articles published in the IJLE. The main aim of this review is to identify dominant aspects in discourses on older learners in the IJLE and how they have changed over the decades. Hence, we identify and briefly discuss historical trends in the lifelong learning/education literature before focusing on emergent themes from IJLE articles from 1982 to 2020. In the first part, we present an overview on the development of research on later life learning to provide a historical frame for the contributions dedicated to that topic. In comparison with the international development of research on later life learning, this topic has been somewhat delayed in the IJLE. Selected articles are discussed in the second section to illustrate and analyse the different approaches to learning in later life, as represented in the IJLE. The analysis shows that aspects of inclusion and exclusion – social marginalisation, exclusion from paid work, health resources, digitisation – are very central in many contributions. Thus, we identify different aspects of inclusion and exclusion in later life and discuss the role of education and learning in this context within the IJLE contributions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634
Number of pages650
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2023


  • older adults
  • later life
  • learning
  • education and disadvantages


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