5. The LLL skills can be lost… or cultivated
Although the motivation to learn is an innate capacity, formal education can reduce the desire for learning in many children. Why? Because the school system that comes to us from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is not natural. It was designed at a specific point in history for children to learn a limited set of skills (3R) needed for the industrial age. It is too often assumed that this school of control, focused on the content to be conveyed, represents the way in which an educational system must function, but unfortunately it is not only unnatural and largely demotivating, it is also not adapted to the digital age. On the other hand, with the Internet revolutionizing our access to content, providing learning resources that allow us to interact with that knowledge more easily, the school has to focus on the learner and the learning process, on the 4C and XLLL skills (eXtra skills of LifeLong Learning; see Figure).
Little by little, schools are making the transition to 21st century learning. They stop being places where one is prepared to pass tests, to become environments where the children are empowered. Educational technology is significantly affecting the way children learn and how teachers can lead the lessons. The rows of silent listeners of the past are being replaced by small groups of actively learning students, completely immersed in discussions and explorations. Digital technology is a perfect vehicle to facilitate this. But it is not about learning to use technology or even teaching with technological tools, it is about the students creating and building with technology. What is important is not what is taught, but how one learns and how information is sought. By being interactive and more personalized, learning becomes a more meaningful process. Educational technology makes it easier to be a self-directed lifelong learner, provided we are motivated to do so.
Most teaching problems are not so much problems of growth (of how to generate the internal impulse for lifelong learning in children), but of how to cultivate this growth (of how to make this natural impulse develop freely). We are born to learn, not to be taught. The school should not prevent learners from being interested. Its big challenge is to link the things they want to learn with the skills they need to develop. It must become a school of trust, where they want to be, an irresistible learning environment that cultivates the natural motivation for learning.
- It is vital to learn how to learn in the digital space which is part of our life
- Lifelong learning (LLL): a new culture of learning
- The most important lifelong learning (LLL) skills
- The LLL skills are natural
- The LLL skills can be lost… or cultivated
- Cultivating the LLL skills connecting school with the rest of life
6a. Be a gardener, not a carpenter
6b. Be an example of “lifelong learner”
6c. Share learning experiences
6d. Improve your digital readiness
- Lifelong learning is for all
- Boss S. (2012) Edutopia – A Parent’s Guide to 21st-Century Learning. https://www.edutopia.org/parent-21st-century-learning-resource-guide
- Ripp P. (2015) Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners. https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/empowered-schools-empowered-students/book244208
- Abbott J. (2011) We’re Born to Learn, Not to Be Taught. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-abbott/post_1839_b_837033.html