Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, lifelong learning definition pdf well as competitiveness and employability.
Superintendent for the Temple City Unified School District’s mission statement in 1993, the term recognizes that learning is not confined to childhood or the classroom but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations. During the last fifty years, constant scientific and technological innovation and change has had profound effects on how learning is understood.
Instead, learning can be seen as something that takes place on an ongoing basis from our daily interactions with others and with the world around us. It can take the form of formal learning or informal learning, or self-directed learning. It is interesting to read about lifelong learning and then to reflect on learning theories.
Two in particular are cognitivism and constructivist theories. Cognitivism—in particular, Gestalt theory—speaks of one learning by making sense of the relationship between what is old and what is new.
Would be quite fascinating to look at lifelong learning not only through the importance of continuing to learn throughout one’s lifetime but, how the knowledge has been shaped or changed over time. For instance, I would approach certain problems differently today than I would have 10 years ago based on what new learning I have attached to old.
This theory in particular lends itself well to Lifelong learning as it brings together learning from many different sources including life experiences. Lifelong learning is being recognized by traditional colleges and universities as valid in addition to degree attainment. Some learning is accomplished in segments or interest categories and can still be valuable to the individual and community. The economic impact of educational institutions at all levels will remain significant as individuals continue formal studies and pursue interest-based subjects.
Institutions produce educated citizens who buy goods and services in the community and the education facilities and personnel generate economic activity during the operations and institutional activities. Similar to health facilities, educational institutions are among the top employers in many cities and towns of the world.
Whether brick-and-mortar institutions or on-line schools, there is a great economic impact worldwide from learning, including lifelong learning, for all age groups. The lifelong learners, including persons with academic or professional credentials, tend to find higher-paying occupations, leaving monetary, cultural, and entrepreneurial impressions on communities, according to educator Cassandra B. Although the term is widely used in a variety of contexts, its meaning is often unclear.
A learning approach that can be used to define lifelong learning is heutagogy. E-learning is available at most colleges and universities or to individuals learning independently. There are even online courses being offered for free by many institutions.