To me, life is a learning journey. We started to learn the moment we are born and only stops learning when we breathe our last breadth.
What is lifelong learning?
Lifelong learning may be broadly defined as learning that is pursued throughout life: learning that is flexible, diverse and available at different times and in different places. Lifelong learning crosses sectors, promoting learning beyond traditional schooling and throughout adult life (ie post-compulsory education). This definition is based on Delors’ (1996) four ‘pillars’ of education for the future.
- Learning to know – mastering learning tools rather than acquisition of structured knowledge.
- Learning to do – equipping people for the types of work needed now and in the future including innovation and adaptation of learning to future work environments.
- Learning to live together, and with others – peacefully resolving conflict, discovering other people and their cultures, fostering community capability, individual competence and capacity, economic resilience, and social inclusion.
- Learning to be – education contributing to a person’s complete development: mind and body, intelligence, sensitivity, aesthetic appreciation and spirituality.
This is underpinned by “Learning to Learn”. Lifelong learning can instil creativity, initiative and responsiveness in people thereby enabling them to show adaptability in post-industrial society through enhancing skills to:
- manage uncertainty,
- communicate across and within cultures, sub-cultures, families and communities,
- negotiate conflicts.
The emphasis is on learning to learn and the ability to keep learning for a lifetime. With the advent of the world wide web and e-learning, the learning process is now made even easier and hassle-free. We can even choose between the usage of paper books and eBooks for our learning. In this ever changing world, concepts such as ”un-learning” and “re-learning” also becomes more important. For example, when I first entered the corporate world, WordPerfect was used for typing letters and Dbase IV for data entry purposes. However, all these have became obsolete and Microsoft Office is now used by most corporations. Hence, I need to unlearn’ these old applications and relearn the new ones. As such, once you ‘stop learning’, you can easily go out of touch with society at large. Due to this reason, I have convinced myself to adopt the life-long learning concept and embrace e-learning to learn new things now. With e-learning, computers, lap-tops, tablets and even eBook Readers are now put to use.