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Civil Society


  • Everyone has to live a life.
    But notions of how to live it in an “appropriate” way are certainly subject to socially constructed perceptions, traditions and conventions. Here the values that underpin definitions of success and failure in life come in. Models of a “good life” might exist in all societies. Unfortunately (or fortunately) such models, often supported by traditions and religion, tend to erode in the face of modernization. Contemporary societies offer less security and more exposure to different dangers for individuals than in the past, as Ulrich Beck points out in Risk Society (1994). Such uncertainty, on the other hand, creates spaces for change in the way that the good or successful life is defined. Today, biographies of individuals are less predetermined and are thus more open to change than ever before. Modern “patchwork biographies” are the result of such openness. At the same time, the indeterminate character of life assigns burden on the individual to make decisions about what to do and how to live.
    Lifelong learning is closely tied to the challenge of openess and change the modern individual must face in his/her lifetime.
    Lifelong learning encompasses both continuity (stability) and discontinuity (change) in learned capacities over time as a result of interactions with the man-made environment—culture. Learning experiences at different stages of life are interconnected and early life learning have implications for later life learning. Learning experiences and wisdom acquired in later life also have implications for younger generations to follow. To understand human learning, it is necessary to look into the learner’s past experiences, his/her self-image, the attitudes and values that dominate his/her society, and his/her present life situation. In this sense, the multi-disciplinary science of lifespan development may be considered as an important partner discipline for the field of lifelong learning.” MENDEL-ANONUEVO, 2001


  • Experiental Learning

At the heart of all learning is the way we process our experiences, especially our critical reflections on our experiences. This module introduces experiential education as a key approach to student-centred learning for a sustainable future.


  • Transformative Learning: Theory to Practices
    Jack Mezirow
A defining condition of being human is that we have to understand the meaning of our experience. For some, any uncritically assimilated explanation by anauthority figure will suffice. But in contemporary societies we must learn to make our own interpretations rather than act on the purposes, beliefs, judgments, and feelings of others. Facilitating such understanding is the cardinal goal of adult education. Transformative learning develops autonomous thinking.


  • The Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning


The Thematic Papers form the core initial substance of the Inquiry’s work. They cover the following:

bullet Prosperity, Employment and Work
bullet Demography and Social Structure
bullet Well-being and Happiness
bullet Migration and Communities
bullet Technological Change
bullet Poverty and Social Exclusion
bullet Citizenship and Belonging
bullet Crime and Social Exclusion
bullet Sustainable Development

There is always more to learn because you will never know everything

Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, November 2016

“There are many options out there for continuing education and many do not cost as much as you might think… You can also read a book, talk to a mentor, or watch an educational show TV – just be sure to learn something every day.”

Lifelong Learning Is Good for Your Health, Your Wallet, and Your Social Life

Harvard Business Review, John Coleman,February 07, 2017

As we age, though, learning isn’t simply about earning degrees or attending storied institutions. Books, online courses, MOOCs, professional development programs, podcasts, and other resources have never been more abundant or accessible, making it easier than ever to make a habit of lifelong learning. Every day, each of us is offered the opportunity to pursue intellectual development in ways that are tailored to our learning style.

  • Educational investments are an economic imperative.
  • Learning is positive for health.
  • Being open and curious has profound personal and professional benefits.
  • Our capacity for learning is a cornerstone of human flourishing and motivation.

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