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Life Long Learning

The on-going process in peoples life...

According to Wikipedia Life-long Learning (Colloquialism) 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, as well as competitiveness and employability.

Evolved originally from the expression of “life-long learners”, introduced to the market by Leslie Watkins, The concept was introduced in 1971 in Denmark. According to it, education and learning are on-going processes in people’s life, there are not assigned specifically just to the childhood or school and university. A significant part of our learning processes are happening in our adult life and they are not related to any planning or systematic learning.

Change of professional life

Living on a constantly changing and developing world, especially from technological point of view (and also rhythm of life, and the pulse of the society), had and has significant effects on our learning behaviors and content.

According to recent studies, kids born today will change radically their professional field of activity during their lifetime 5 times. To be able to do this, we have to learn constantly.

The content of learning processes is directed to skills and not necessarily towards knowledge, info and data. Also the way of learning is a continuous development, from the classical classroom teaching towards informal, self-directed learning, taking place on on-going basis, containing daily interactions with our lifehood as much in personal and also in virtual way.

Adaptibility

We are living in a constantly changing world. Being prepared for that, lifelong learning is a must. We need to have a much more flexible way of situational adapting.

Different Skills

In the classical school system we were taught info and data. Today, different skills are searched, but the school system curriculum was not changed accordingly. Different sources and aproaches are needed.

Social Challenges

According to the BeLL (Benefits of Lifelong Learning) study people participating in lifelong learning are handling much better the social challenges of the continuously changing environment.
MOOC - massive open online courses

Life-long learning today is mentioned in close connection with terms like:

  • personal learning environments,
  • continuous education,
  • knowledge work,
  • adult education or
  • homeschooling.
One of the most recent expressions of it is the MOOC, meaning massive open online courses, which are giving easier access to a significant number of people to education. One of the best universities worldwide startet with MOOC's like Stanford, John Hopkins, Duke, University of Michigan etc. 

If you are interested in more informations have a look on Coursera or search for MOOC.

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