Learning is not only associated with formal education at school, college, university etc. ‘Schooling’ is only one type of learning which maximize our potential to find better, more satisfying jobs, earn more and perhaps become more successful in our chosen career. However, there are many more other opportunities to further enhance the knowledge and develop the skills we need throughout life. Learning happens all the time and is unavoidable, uncontrolled process of lifelong time. Lifelong learning is about creating and maintaining a positive attitude towards learning both for professional development, earning for life and personal adjustment in society. Lifelong learners are always motivated to learn and make others to learn for others’ better development. It provides better opportunities which enhance the understanding for the world around us and improve our quality of life.
Learning throughout the life is like continuous flow of thoughts for analyzing the requirements and deciding short objectives to be achieved successfully within time, needs many learning skills enabling personal growth are : Self motivation, ability to learn, acquiring relevant and meaningful information (through listening, observing ,experiencing, experimenting and then practicing and develop this into knowledge) ,Search ( searching for a personal meaning in the knowledge acquired),Examine ( the knowledge and try to keep mind open for questioning for understanding to new information), Reflect (whatever is learned is reflected by thinking, why and how is learned different conditions, subject , topics ,odd or even situations after and before the development of the particular knowledge).
The Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension [DLLE] (known earlier as Department of Adult and Continuing Education and Extension) established on October 12, in the Year 1978 and has been recognized as a statutory Department of the University of Mumbai since 1994 to promote a meaningful and sustained rapport between the Universities and the community. The DLLE offers flexible Continuing Education opportunities and every year students of different colleges do projects for their skill development and social services involved for the betterment of society.
Lifelong Learning Skills (LLS) provide the foundation for learning and working. They broadly support student thinking, self-management, and social interaction, enabling the pursuit of education and career goals. Collectively, LLS are the means by which students master academic content and translate knowledge into action. There is a growing consensus among researchers that LLS are discretely identifiable and actionable levers of support for meeting college and career readiness (CCR) objectives.
Life long learning can be understood as ‘the life starts the learning start and continues whole life for the life.” Learning in different time duration in life span can be understood better if dividing in different levels as follows:
Level-I Learning : ( At the Start of life )From the first day of the life, infant and the mother start learning about each other by touching, speaking, hearing,seeing, tasting, and feeling. Depending on the five senses the development and learning start. Efficiency and weaknesses in the physical, emotional and mental growth of child and mother which depends on the balanced diet and care, results in the overall growth. It needs proper knowledge about food, health, emotions, different needs and effects of environment to mother which can be possible after proper training and learning .I consider it as the first level learning which is necessary and urgent need for girls of the present time for which proper training centers should be started where primary knowledge of child birth ,proper caring of new born child, Home science, Medical field, child Psychology are necessary. Presently in the society elderly persons are the only social agents giving their experiences to next generation believing whatever they think and instruct is absolutely correct. This level of Learning can be made one of the objectives of the DLLE in which our students who are the integral part of our society, can be given practice in the form of the DLLE project.
First day of the small lovely innocent child who is unfamiliar with school and not prepared for new place and new people other than parents and home, goes to school. Parents wait for their child going to school but what will child face in school . It comes in child’s mind as event of separation from parents. So every child cries for many days in the morning before going to school. This is the time when child should be made more comfortable and should be made ready to learn while playing, facing new environment in school instead of becoming fearful of separation from parents. How child can learn new things properly if child has fear. It needs training to parents how they made their young one ready for learning and feel happy at every step of learning. This is the time when the most important development of learning skills starts. In other words it is the time of starting of personality development because how child observes, understands ,analyses , shares , enquires, asks and communicate .If there is even miner defect in child’s growth in his senses ( detected or undetected) , or environment is not comfortable then small fears with hesitation starts and become large hurdle in the growth of communication skill and child starts avoiding learning and study. Disliking and avoiding learning affects personality development that results poor performance and suppression. Here the role of mentor, teacher and parents starts , noticing the changes in behavior and different activities .Child needs healthy communication so that problems of child can be resolved in time. Only classroom teaching is not sufficient. So there should be good trained communicators and counselor for handling child’s problem.Strong foundations for learning and addressing disadvantages without good-quality early childhood care and education awareness may be one of the theme of DLLE.
This group of learners are very prompt and follow instructions 100%. Child has to listen, follow the instructions, behave in certain pattern, cope up with language differences, cultural differences, ability to cope up with environment differences e.g. slowly learning other language, speaking, talking , and writing with equal pace as others do, making friends for making environment familiar, learning from other children .These all become the deciding factors for overall growth and finally results in liking learning or somehow managing the school study .This is the main time to inculcate the habits to read books, writing practice, communication skill. It is necessary to take their care like in home environment for desirable growth. Reading, writing and numeracy skills requires levels of basic education. There is the time when child starts obeying teachers more than their parents and loving them .This is the time when child can be checked for the special needs or abilities in which interest can be generated according to the explained event or material. The urgent need is primary education should be modified, it should not be only book based .It should be activity based. Unfortunately in our country there is urgent need of good teachers in primary level which is always taken with casual approach .Everybody considers teaching is very easy though it needs dedication. School teachers should be given some scholarships and motivational awards if their work is found outstanding. Presently they are not given even proper respect appointing them as Sikshan- Sevak at very minimum salary around Rs7000 or even lesser. Vacancies are there but not filled. Some small activity based project can be taken as the theme of DLLE projects for students.
This age group Learners are able to live in group and communicate and follow instructions properly and are habituated of soft handling. Now according to the learning needs self regulation, conscientiousness, mind-sets, and motivation for learning can be used as predictors of academic performance. Positive mind-sets about learning and social belonging in academic environments are good for mental health. Critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills, collectively are the important part of overall performance. Efforts to develop these skills are effective in later Childhood. Interventions to improve these skills are associated with subsequently improved creativity performance. After many years of experience in the teaching field I have found there is urgent need for good communication skill, and subject trained (to the requirement of present time) teachers in this level of learning. Teaching is not taken seriously, and children are not given activity and project based knowledge because teachers are appointed on contract basis to somehow manage teaching. If skilled teachers of higher level are given some number of hours for doing short projects for teaching in this group of learners which is counted in their one of the job responsibility, then it may improve the foundation of the education.
This is the age of totally different state of mind in which young learner try to decide their own goal and do not want to just repeat as others have done .This is called as storm age when learners are most energetic ,they imagine and want to try every new task and want to understand even every emotions seriously. Here they can do wonders if guided properly keeping in mind their problems and demands. They have to be well motivated and inspired. Student motivation for learning results in higher level of achievements. Students, who are motivated for content, demonstrate better academic behaviors (e.g., study skills) and better overall academic performance. Student evaluations of knowledge of subject and meeting the expectations for success are key to academic performance in that subject. Student motivation for learning generally declines over time and is most vulnerable during school transition years, especially during the transition to middle school. Interventions to improve student motivation are effective and can result in better performance in every aspect .Here the time they have to be given primary knowledge of all the professional fields so learners are always in searching and thinking about their future profession , and their social bond and understanding themselves in respect to abilities and limitations. Here they require proper guidance for carrier and society. So learners need strong practical /project based training.
Learning in other activities linked to vocational training, income-generating activities, and development activities in a broader sense. Main learning skills are Critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity, collectively referred to as “cognitive skills,” .They are predictive of academic and career performance. In this level well educated and good researchers are to be motivated to be involved in imparting knowledge to academic fields with good communication pattern. Now a day’s in higher education teachers are given other more manual, paper work instead of teaching related preparation and lectures. eg. (a) Examination supervision duties of 3 hrs each (more than 35 per year ) (b) Research work is made necessary requirement for promotion due to which teachers are not able to give time to lectures and students as number of students per class is more .(c) If any teacher go on long leaves e.g. more than one month, there is the loss of teaching to that subject .There is no provision to arrange another teachers for short duration to maintain regular teaching .Teachers are becoming unapproachable to students.
Learning after higher education includes learning during job, even with carrying out the family responsibilities, it may be the need of requirement or may be the strong interest which continuously motivate to learn other things .
(A.) Learning for Job requirement
Any individual wants to learn if proper leaves and responsibilities are recognized and their success surety is defined. There is wide scope of learning during professional lifetime. There should be well defined goal, to be utilized in the benefit of the organization but due to (1) the competition of junior-seniority levels,(2) internal politics in organizations, (3) Whatever is essential for job that is only allowed/or sometimes delayed to allow, increments are not given on time (4) family responsibilities and problems , health problems etc. results learning is blocked. There should be some part of family responsibility towards government as most of the persons now a days are tax payer.
(B.) Learning for interest
These are the true learners who make everything possible by learning. Because they are self-motivated. They motivate others as well. Edward Thorndike developed the first three ‘Laws of learning:’ readiness, exercise, and effect. The learner if well motivated and made ready to learn, the taught and trained by exercise and then examined, give the best results. These learners devote their some of the time always for learning new things and feel different types of satisfaction and feel good after completing their self made goals in fixed time intervals.
As we grow and gain maturity in life, learning does not remain associated to only to get degrees and attending institutions.It becomes satisfying the internal , mental learning needs. At present Books, online courses, MOOCs, professional development programs and other resources which were never available but now are accessible, making it easier than ever to make a habit of lifelong learning. Every day everyone is offered the opportunity to pursue intellectual development in ways that are tailored to our learning style.
(c.) Learning staying at home
Now a days due to so much is available on internet to learn in hands of person, even a small child , ladies can gain the knowledge about physical exercises, medical help, cooking ,cleaning methods , teaching their own subject to far staying students , can contact persons in villages, selling their products even staying at home ,are able to learn different professions and skills for their interest. Only the ‘motivation to learn’ is the requirement on the path lifelong learning.
Learning is positive for health benifits. Reading, even for short periods of time, can dramatically reduce stress levels. A recent report in Neurology noted learning activities can help delaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s, preserving quality of life. Other research indicates that learning to play a new instrument can offset cognitive decline, and learning difficult new skills in older age is associated with improved memory.
Being open and curious has profound personal and professional benefits. Those who dedicate themselves to learning and exhibit curiosity are almost always happier than those who don’t. They are more socially and professionally engaged. Lifelong learning isn’t simply an economic imperative but an emotional, physical and social one as well. We live in an age of opportunities for learning and development. Capturing that opportunity maintaining our curiosity and intellectual humility can be one of life’s most rewarding pursuits.
Our precious gift to Students:”Lifelong Learning skills” Wherever the students trained through DLLE will be, it is sure they continue learning to be successful to new challenges, growing and giving others the same opportunities and trying to make better society.
Survey on different people group including women and men including different religion who discontinued their education due to some social problems, monetary problems , responsibility to earn etc. It is found that 11% people are still interested to continue their education if they are given opportunities and environment to learn and study.
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