New Ways To
4. Lifelong learning
In our view the new process is particularly relevant to
the concept of lifelong learning. The successful cases we
have observed challenge the classroom as the heart of
learning, and create a new learning experience which does
not depend on bricks and mortar.
is important for developing students' motivation, and the ability to continue
learning beyond the years of formal schooling. It is key to creating a
model of lifelong learning that is economically viable, and will not require
acres of new classrooms together with the resources to staff and operate
them. It can also reach groups of students who would find it very difficult
to participate in conventional education.
Although schools and higher education have so far been
the centres of development in educational IT, we judge that
adult further education will become the global spearhead for
developing the process we have described. There is some
evidence that this is already happening. In the US
especially, this form of learning is being widely used for
career development, particularly in technology-based
As the figure shows, the lifelong learners we have
interviewed have career trajectories which are far from
smooth. We suspect that more and more this will become the
norm, with even high achievers finding that the traditional
view of learning and career development, as a ladder leading
to a stable social and economic position, is far too simple.
The modern world not only has snakes as well as ladders:
from time to time the game itself dissolves and re-forms
with new rules.
The Trajectory of a Lifelong
Innovation in learning
Lifelong learning is where the need is growing most
rapidly, where the largest gap exists between current
provision and real need, and where there is the best match
between requirements and what the new process can provide.
This is a powerful spur to innovation. Some - but not all -
areas of lifelong learning also have high market
has for many years been seen as the Cinderella at the resource ball. To
address the real problems of lifelong learning - and the social and economic
issues which underly them - this picture needs to change.
©1999 Mediation Technology