The What, Why and How of Lifelong Learning from TULLL
Lifelong learning is a mindset that empowers individuals to continuously and actively pursue self-fulfillment. Lifelong learning is also an approach that develops holistic competences for a changing world.
What is lifelong learning?
We believe everyone can be a lifelong learner.
The definition of lifelong learning can be very broad. We understand lifelong learning as the self-motivated, deliberate, continuing pursuit of knowledge or skills for personal reasons (e.g., fulfill one’s curiosity) or professional reasons (e.g., stand out from the competition). Lifelong learning is also an attitude that sees life full of opportunities to learn and excel.
This definition of lifelong learning ranges from informally reading a book to formally attending a school, from as young as infants to senior people, from being apprentices to masters of a profession, and from learning how to use an App to career development training. We believe the phrase “lifelong learning” is a concept that evolves with time, with technology, and with the contribution from all of the people who are practicing it in everyday life. Lifelong learning can be a conscious process that learners proactively seek for learning, or it can be an unconscious process that learners are driven by pure curiosity. It defines a mindset that helps you to actively engage in new situations, find resources, expand knowledge, improve skills, and finally solve problems.
We consider the following elements as the core of lifelong learning:
•Employ the growth mindset that keeps trying and not be afraid of failing
•Demonstrate positive attitudes to embrace new environments and challenges
•Engage with continuous self-driven learning behaviors that are spontaneous with learning goals in mind, such as meeting psychological needs, conquering design challenges and solving problems
Why is it important?
Our world is constantly changing. Nothing is permanent and nothing is impossible. Revolutionary breakthroughs bring new opportunities to humans and reshape the future of our children. The 21st Century is full of new challenges and uncertainties. What we have today may be not be sufficient for tomorrow. Thus, we need to empower ourselves and our children with the lifelong learning ability to adapt to the living environment, and also create a better future. Lifelong learning can not only keep us competitive in the job market, but also make our lives flourish.
In schools, grades are still important for students’ education, but we know that the society and companies are looking for abilities to collaborate, experiment and problem-solve. These skills are the ones that support and empower students as well as adults to be innovative and creative, but also better employment, wealth, and health. Becoming lifelong learners will help people adapt to the fast changing environment as it gives them a new perspective and sets a positive mode when they encounter challenges. Therefore, they are more likely to succeed and hence their levels of confidence and competence can be built up. We also believe that everyone can be a lifelong learner and you shall start to do that as early as possible, because the creativity, collaboration, problem-solving abilities that you need as an adult, are based on the experiences you have as a child, and how you are educated in school and supported in the family.
Learning is naturally rewarding. However, due to a variety of reasons, some people have not successfully experienced the fun of learning, nor cultivated the curiosity. It is never too late. We believe that lifelong learning is a great tool for people to rediscover the joy and excitement in their work or studies.
Empower future lifelong learners.
•To promote new technologies and playful activities to stimulate creative engagement among children and students.
•To study how play influences children’s and students’ creativity and learning.
•To convene decision-makers, change-makers, educators, and innovators across the educational system in China.