It is a truism that even the best universities in the world cannot accurately predict the skills that will be needed in the workplace 10 years from now, let alone 100 years, hence the importance of teaching university students how to learn, something also referred to as metacognition.
Lifelong learning refers to holistic learning for life and work. It comprises a number of pillars of learning including: learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together, learning to be, learning to earn, and learning how to learn.
Learning how to learn is what universities in Africa need to teach, for this will ensure that when learners are confronted with unique and complex problems, they have the capability to learn, unlearn and re-learn how to address complex problems, as pointed out by Alvin Toffler in his book Future Shock.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced many schools and classes to switch how they reach learners. That has impacted revenue, naturally. But there have been benefits, according to Director Craig Hall.
“It’s safe to say that coronavirus has presented the greatest challenge that we’ve faced as a program, with our self-supporting status,” Hall said. “But it hasn’t’ slowed us down in terms of creativity or resolve. I think this whole experience will make the program smarter, stronger, and more nimble.”
The summer children’s program run by LCE, Lexplorations, was fully booked when the pandemic hit Lexington, Hall said. In a few short weeks, LCE staff reimagined Lexporations for a socially-distanced world, translating everything to an online format. While there were families that requested refunds, the camp was a success, Hall said.
Many Lexplorations teachers are also teachers in Lexington schools, he added, and they had already gotten a taste of remote learning at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. A small adult education term was offered over the summer as well, which is not something LCE has done before.
Oxford tells us what many of us already know:
Learning for professionals is an ongoing process. They work in an era of changing laws and procedures that drive their need and desire to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. Lifelong learning can benefit professionals, the organizations in which they work, and the clients they serve. This chapter explores continuing education requirements to maintain licenses of certification, as well as the desire for lifelong learning among professionals from a variety of industries. Suggestions for developing and providing learning experiences are presented. While it is evident that professionals need to continue their learning, the content areas as well as learning options are continuously being reviewed by accrediting organizations. Various ways of obtaining continuing education credits are presented as well as trends in training modalities.
Lifelong Learning is NOT just for the young.
“In academia, we often apply the term “lifelong learner” to mature or non-traditional students, but all students should reframe their higher education experience to include explorative, self-directed and self-initiated learning in order to satisfy their interests and remain engaged with learning.
Lifelong learning is self-initiated and self-directed education focused on personal development and fulfillment. Lifelong learning can be formal or informal and occurs within and outside of educational institutions. Lifelong learning happens on a daily basis, through formal education, socialization, trial and error, and/or self-initiated study, and is based on our natural interests, curiosity and personal motivations. The desire to learn must come from ourselves, not someone else. Lifelong learning is ongoing, occurring throughout one’s lifetime.”
Student Growth and Lifelong Learning: It’s Just Not for the “Mature”
Over a very short period of time, Covid-19 has helped business and education to replace and complement physical face-to-face channels by digital and online ones. This radical change also opened the way for more and better lifelong learning—via e-learning platforms.
Once again, Lifelong Learning is the silver lining in the COVID clouds…