This phrase seems to have lost its novelty value of late; five years ago education seemed to be aiming for this. The problem, from a governmental perspective, was that this idea seemingly got in the way of standards. As with most educational policy, if it’s not measurable it’s not worth bothering with. And as all expert educators will know, there’s not a unit of measurement that will calculate how ‘lifelong’ a bit of learning was.
There was and still is arguments that lifelong learning or ‘soft skills’ are woolly (again this notion results in the fact that these soft skills cannot be measured)
It could be argued that these skills/habits should be woolly. Life is woolly. If someone asked you how your day has been, the answer is rarely “well according to my ‘afternoon index calculation’ it’s about 5.5 which means I’ve added value when compared with this time last year;” life is not like that!
When planning for lifelong learning in the classroom it is important to remember that ‘lifelong’ begins NOW, not when children become adults; or as Sir Ken Robinson puts it “A 3 year old is not half a 6 year old”; from a different perspective a 40 year old is not a 50 year old in waiting and so on…
We use Guy Claxton four Rs as basis for lifelong learning in our classrooms, over time this has helped pupils become happy, independent and creative learners; statistically were can’t prove what we see, day in, day out in our classrooms and whilst the ‘standards’ are indeed high, this would be the wrong unit of measurement; so you’ll just have to take our word for it!
The Thought Weavers