Summary
Lifelong learning is the "ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated" pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. It is important for an individual's competitiveness and employability, but also enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development. In some contexts, the term "lifelong learning" evolved from the term "life-long learners", created by Leslie Watkins and used by Clint Taylor, professor at CSULA and Superintendent for the Temple City Unified School District, in the district's mission statement in 1993, the term recognizes that learning is not confined to childhood or the classroom but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations. In other contexts, the term "lifelong learning" evolved organically. The first lifelong learning institute began at The New School for Social Research (now New School University) in 1962 as an experiment in "learning in retirement". Later, after similar groups formed across the United States, many chose the name "lifelong learning institute" to be inclusive of nonretired persons in the same age range. See Lifelong learning institutes, or outside the US, University of the Third Age. During the last fifty years, constant scientific and technological innovation and change has had profound effects on how learning is understood. Learning can no longer be divided into a place and time to acquire knowledge (school) and a place and time to apply the knowledge acquired (the workplace). Instead, learning can be seen as something that takes place on an ongoing basis from our daily interactions with others and with the world around us. It can create and shapeshift into the form of formal learning or informal learning, or self-directed learning. Allen Tough (1979), Canadian educator and researcher, asserts that almost 70% of learning projects are self-planned. Lifelong learning has been described as a process that includes people learning in different contexts. These environments do not only include schools but also homes, workplaces, and even locations where people pursue leisure activities.
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