10 secrets to lifelong learning for everyone

Everyone needs to know about the benefits of lifelong learning that provides opportunities for intellectual, cultural exploration, and workplace development. This is accomplished through continuing education courses that provide opportunity for personal growth and social interaction in formal and informal academic settings. Continual learning benefits career success through developing additional work skills and self-satisfaction.

10 secrets to lifelong learning for everyone

The secrets to a lifelong learning are based on the fact that adults must realize is that early formal learning experiences no longer support them for a lifetime. Most people have multiple careers today. This one fact leads to the need to continually learn and prepare for wherever the future leads an adult.

There are four main categories within the realm of lifelong learning and these are:

Adult Education – involves gaining qualifications and skills for work.
Continuing Education – often describes complementary, informal, or not-for-credit courses offered by higher education institutions.
Professional Development – describes workshops, continuing education units, and on-the-job training.
Self-Directed Learning – often referred to as personal learning which uses wide range of sources and tools, including online resources.

Education Benefits: Support for Learning over a Lifetime

lifelong learning for everyone

Education benefits adult learners by keeping their mind sharp, along with stimulating physical activity for all around better health. Over a lifetime of learning adults expand their awareness, self-awareness, and development of skills for career advancement.

The following are some benefits of lifelong learning that support learning over an adult learner’s lifetime:

Opening the Mind – is an important aspect of learning necessary to promote the free exchange of ideas and viewpoints. This is accomplished through enrollment in continuing education classes that provide opportunities to share and gain information.
Sharing – when adult learners discover more about history, current events, latest trends, issues, and technology related to work or personal learning they typically want to share with others. This sometimes leads to cultivating the teacher within some adults.
Natural Abilities – when adults with well-established lifelong learning skills reach retirement, they have the opportunity to fully exploit their capabilities. One example is by participating in self-directed learning accomplished in non-credit academic courses, educational travel, or community education.
Active Contributors – are not content to rest on their current knowledge, these lifelong learners contribute to others by offering their expertise in professional development activities and community education.
Adapting to Change – lifetime learning helps adults keep up with the latest trends in the workplace or personal lives. A self-directed learner spends time learning new ways of doing things with technology or the latest techniques for accomplishing work tasks.

Adult Learning: Development of Lifetime Learning Habits

10 secrets to lifelong learning

Adult learning achievement is accomplished through developing lifetime learning habits. Some of these include:

Action Plan – developing and continually updating an education action plan that doubles as a learning to-do list. This list helps establish and provide guidance for achieving short- and long-term goals.
Application of Learning – after learning new information or skills, use them. After learning how to build a backyard compost or how to build a webpage, build a compost. Better yet, build a webpage about how to build a backyard compost. True learning occurs when new knowledge is applied.
Join a Group – lifelong learners often participate in groups when learning new information or skills. One example is joining a local writer’s guild to learn the art of writing. Another example is developing public speaking skills needed for advancement at work by joining Toastmasters International.
Dedicated Learning Time – enabled by setting aside specific times of the day or week dedicated to learning. This is accomplished by enrolling in local adult education or community education classes. If opportunity is not available then enroll in online courses such as Free computer technology courses that offer certifications, Continuing Education Units (CEU) for recertification or additional certifications that lead to career advancement, or an online master’s degree within current career field.
Read – regardless if this is accomplished by reading a book, self-help magazine, blog, or online magazine – Read! Not only does reading expand current knowledge, it also helps to develop critical thinking skills. Reading also exposes lifetime learners to new ideas and concepts that may challenge their beliefs, which is important for developing lifelong learner skills.

The secrets of lifelong learning are based on an adult’s natural ability, curiosity, or desire to learn something new. Generally, adult learners who are successful in life are also lifetime learners. These adult learners spend their time exploring, discovering, and seeking new ways of doing things. They had previously realized that formal learning in their early years will not sustain them throughout the life time; therefore needing to continue their education.

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