They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but current research disagrees. Research in lifelong learning has, for almost half a century, studied and examined learning throughout life. One researcher who’s studied the subject in greater detail is Professor Cecilia Bjursell of Jönköping University.
– Lifelong learning is a holistic approach to education and learning which recognises learning in several different environments, Bjursell explains. The idea of lifelong learning is based on two principles: on the one hand that an individual continues learning throughout life, and on the other that learning doesn’t only take place within the bounds of formal education. Learning is just as likely to take place at work and in everyday life. School comprises extremely important preparation for lifelong learning. This is where we’re given the tools which enable us to continue our personal development in later life.
Lifelong learning is also a hot topic internationally. Lifelong learning is included in the EU strategy for education and training until 2020, which “focuses on lifelong learning and mobility, the quality and efficiency of education, equality, and innovation”. The UN also underlines the importance of not neglecting our personal development. In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a decision on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in connection with its work on Agenda 2030. Goal 4 has a clear focus on education, wherein society shall “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.