We have all heard the ancient saying “People learn throughout their lifetime”, and in today’s changing world, it has gained even more significance. Learning never ends, and one never loses the internal need to make a step forward, to learn and progress.
Why is continuing education important?
The concept of lifelong learning and training has become the necessity for anyone who wants to survive in modern society.
Changes in the environment, our way of functioning and dynamics of life are occurring at an increasing pace, so adaptation is a lesson we all need to learn.
Every day, we are introduced to new technological achievements that need to be implemented properly.
In a world such as this, it is impossible to remain at the level of education provided at universities, whether we are talking about undergraduate, master’s or PhD studies, because whatever level of education you may possess, the world will demand more of you.
What is the Lifelong learning concept?
Lifelong learning is a new educational reality – learning is becoming a process of mental and social change which spans a person’s lifetime, unlike traditional education.
It is a lifelong, voluntary and self-motivating learning process.
Formal and non-formal education are complementary to each other. They coexist. Elements of one may be found in another – Excerpt from the report of the Council of Europe’s Working Group on Non-Formal Education from 2001.
The main principle of the concept of lifelong learning is that students cannot acquire all the knowledge and skills during formal education – at school, college or university – which is why they need to continue learning even after graduation.
Continuity – the only way to achieve success
Completion of formal education represents a disruption in the continuity of learning. After graduation, people commonly stop working on their education altogether, thinking they have achieved everything they could.
However, even if we disregard major deficiencies of formal education, which often has no practical application, maintaining continuity is one of the irrefutable arguments in favor of continuing one’s education by means of non-formal education.
Learning regardless of time, place or age
Lifelong learning means giving people the knowledge and skills they really need.
With the help of modern technologies, learning has become independ of location, meaning that you can learn at work, in a local library, café, park or any other public space.
Learning material can be found in Internet databases available 24/7, and accessed with the help of a laptop, smartphone or a tablet.
This means that non-formal learning is accessible to anyone, regardless of their age, daily errands or tight schedule.
Teachers are role models
To change the world for the better, we first need to improve ourselves. Education gives us the ability to look at things the right way, understand our possibilities, grab the chances we get, and acquire the skills that will see us through all that.
Teachers who understand the concept of lifelong learning and who continuously work to improve themselves will be able to convey this idea to their students. This way, they educate generations aware of the importance of lifelong learning, who will work on their own development and acknowledge no boundaries to what they can do.
How can we initiate the change?
First and foremost, change requires vision, but also planning skills, the desire to act, and the combined strength of educational leaders. The Institute for Contemporary Education is a place where people who have the potential to inspire others to act, thus forming a unique network of exceptional teachers, can come together.
You can be one of them. Initiate the change, starting with yourself.