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21st Century Teaching: A Lifelong Learning Process

Updated: Jul 8


3 Ways Education Professionals Can Integrate Lifelong Learning



Teaching is a demanding profession where educators must keep up with new generations of students. The shift to digital modes of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic showed how versatile and resilient educators must be in the changing climate of education communication.The International Labor Organization (ILO) emphasizes that lifelong learning is the need of the hour across every profession to keep up with uncertainty. In fact, the United Nations’ fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) stands for equitable access to quality education and encourages lifelong learning opportunities for all.



“In the old days we could say let's go to school, get qualified for a job, enter the labor market and that's the job of learning. (Today) We need people to learn how to learn because learning is going to be a feature of the transitions they're going to go through throughout their lives.” Sir Alan Tuckett, Education Specialist & Lifelong Learning Policy Expert



Teachers who commit to lifelong learning see themselves as continuous students. If you’re curious about adopting the lifelong learning mindset as a teacher and passing it on to your students, then this blog is for you!



What does Lifelong Learning mean to Educators?


Educators are often put on a pedestal as those who “know it all”. While good educators do know a lot within their area of academic specialty, the best ones consider themselves to be perpetual learners with a thirst for knowledge. Lifelong learning is a continuous process of assimilating new experiences by updating one's skills and keeping up with new developments in the chosen field of profession. In fact, UNESCO’s lifelong learning initiative emphasizes the integration of living and learning as two sides of the same coin.


“(Lifelong Learning) should be a process of conscious continuous learning that goes throughout life and is directed towards providing both the individual needs and that of the relevant community.” Lifelong learning: What does it mean? | Science Direct

Students and teachers are increasingly facing challenges due to their socio-economic backgrounds, ongoing heated geo-political climates, gender biases and other demographic features across the globe. In order to help teachers build resilience against these barriers to fair and equal education, the International Comprehensive has found 3 effective ways for educators to practice the lifelong learning mindset.



3 Easy Ways Teachers Can Integrate Lifelong Learning

The first step towards identifying the right way to learn, is to discover the need. Depending upon the kind of information and the stage of your professional journey in your teaching career, you can choose to enhance your knowledge in any of the following 3 ways:


1. Formal Learning


The most effective way to learn a new skill in education is directly from education specialists. This includes organized and tested means of gaining knowledge through graduate programs, and intense higher education programs like Ph.D. For self-paced and high reward programs, certificate courses integrated with practical application are the best fit option for teachers learning on the fly. International Comprehensive offers a multitude of flexible online courses which follow a meaningful learning framework for educators to develop and enhance competencies like communication, creativity and visible thinking in classroom environments. Check out the complete course catalog here.


2. Social & Community Based Learning


The internet is a great reservoir of community based educational resources with global perspectives on learning. TeacherWit is one such platform which provides a safe and inclusive space for educators across nations to exchange ideas and collaborate on projects. This free community also gives teachers exclusive access to numerous webinars by international specialists in the education space.


3. Self Directed Learning


Self directed means of learning is a lifelong competency, which is a must for every educator who thinks out of the box. The fact that you’re reading this blog already puts you in the right direction! You can check out Ted Talks for teachers, educational YouTube channels and social media pages. You can check out the podcast “The Teaching Space” to learn education management skills in your free time!

 

For more online resources to incorporate best practices for Lifelong learning, check out the Top 5 Digital Platforms To Help Educators Upskill.