Adolescence and lifelong learning (Purposeful learning activities…
Adolescence and lifelong learning
Purposeful learning activities throughout all of life
Lifelong learning incorporates all purposeful learning activity, from the cradle to the grave, that aims to improve knowledge and competencies for all individuals.
Lifelong learning emphasises that learning occurs during the whole course of a person’s life.
Formal education contributes to learning as do the non-formal and informal settings of home, the workplace, the community and society at large.
To be a lifelong learner means to have the ability to grow and change, to challenge and reflect, to propose new ideas, and to ask questions
Continuing learning for social and economic wellbeing
The notion of lifelong learning focuses attention on the need for continual learning and on the sets of generic skills and capacities that will equip individuals to embrace this expanded notion of learning and the challenges of living and working in knowledge economies.
Both the OECD and UNESCO agree that lifelong learning is an essential component of social and economic wellbeing.
OECD pillars of lifelong learning
The OECD identifies four key pillars of lifelong learning in contemporary societies
Systemic view of learning – that learning, formal and informal, is linked to the full lifecycle rather than ‘front-loaded’ into the compulsory years of schooling.
Centrality of the learner – recognition of diversity of learners and a shift in priority towards an increased client focus.
Motivation to learn – attention to self-directed and individualised learning.
Multiple objectives of educational policies – economic, social, personal.
UNESCO characteristics of lifelong learners
Likewise, UNESCO identified four characteristics of lifelong learners that could set the parameters of a learning society
learning to do – acquiring and applying skills, including life skills
learning to be – promoting creativity and personal fulfilment
learning to know – an approach to learning that is flexible, critical and capable
learning to live together – exercising tolerance, understanding and mutual respect
Growth mindset in adolescent learners
With regard to adolescence and lifelong learning, developing positive learning attitudes is of great importance. During the adolescent years, this can take place in both formal school settings and other informal contexts.
a love of learning
a sense of purpose and self-regulation
a sense of goal setting and agency for one’s own learning
One way to do this is by promoting a growth mindset. A growth mindset is about embracing a commitment to be challenged and to continue to evolve our thinking and learning. This includes taking on challenges where we learn through failure.