Lifelong Learning & the New Educational Order
“Lifelong learning is a wonder drug which, on its own, will solve a wide range of educational, social and political ills” (British Educational Research Journal, 1999).
Lifelong learning is “all learning activity” undertaken throughout life, with the aim to provide knowledge, skills and competences. It means to acquire and update all kind of abilities, interests and knowledge that will enable each citizen to adapt to the “Knowledge Society” and participate in all spheres in life (Social – Economic – Cultural).
Lifelong learning means also a second chance, providing opportunities and tailoring the education to the needs (– Potential!) of the learner. Special efforts are needed in this context for different groups such as ethnic minorities, people with disabilities or people living in rural areas. Lifelong Learning is also about “learning culture”, to incentive the people who opt for learning and improve themselves.
Non formal education; a New Perspective
Non formal education brings together people, resources, tools, methods, objectives and a learning process. It gives young people the possibility to acquire “soft skills”, such interpersonal, team, planning, organizational and conflict management. It fosters multicultural awareness, self-confidence, discipline and responsibility.
Photo: Meeting. Trainers in Switzerland (NGO) – 2015
Learning Process & Plan
There is an objective, a plan and a learning process which is flexible and adaptable to different contexts and learners. The space is not necessary fixed, as a classroom or a school, it can be in the mountains or a camp; the activities can be held on the floor or even the walls. It will depend of the type of project and resources available.
Non formal learning is about subconscious learning, – a powerful built-in capacity. What we learn is aligned with our goals and interests for personal and relational health and wellbeing. It can support us while growing in positive directions and realize amazing outcomes and passions. This type of learning is focus on competences and not merely knowledge.
The objectives are established regarding the individual but also a group of people. The group and interaction pays an important role. The result of the learning process depends on the learner, the educator/facilitator and also the whole group. The dynamic of group interaction is cooperative instead competitive – mistakes are always welcome.
Facilitation & Facilitators
Carl Rogers and Josephine Klein (1961) used for first time the term “facilitators” to describe educators who facilitate learning, exploring and change. Facilitation gained ground in adult education, youth work and community education. A facilitating group session includes different phases as getting into the subject, responding to the moment, summing up and ending. The role of the facilitator is to “give shape” to the learning process and also deal with difficult behavior.
Photo: Carl Rogers. Video Empathy Lecture 1974
Learning Methods & Features
Non- formal teaching includes:
- Communication based methods: interaction, dialogue, meditation
- Activity- based methods: experience, practice, experimentation
- Socially- focused methods: teamwork, networking
- Self-directed methods: creativity, responsibility, self-discovering
Which topics can you expect from this blog?
- Group facilitation techniques
- Non-formal education settings and diversity
- EU policies regarding education
- My own experience in different projects around Europe
- Inclusive education
- Human rights
- Community education
If you want a year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow threes. If you want a hundred years of prosperity, grow people.