Are you curious to learn new things? Do you like to improve your present skills? Are you willing to meet new people? If you answered positively to any of above-mentioned questions, you are probably looking for new ways to fulfill your basic needs to achieve happy life.
After the compulsory school years, you are ready to choose subjects of your own interest and return to the school of lifelong learning in Vantaa Adult Education Institute. It will be a lovely way to find new ideas and challenge your old views with people who share the same interests.
At first, we would like to discover the myth of lifelong learning with three W-words: what?, why? and when?
What is lifelong learning?
Lifelong learning is a concept where we are able to acquire new knowledge or achieve novel experiences. This process is ongoing and continuous.
Nowadays the city of Vantaa organizes and provides a place for official lifelong learning. These courses include e.g. following subjects: Asian cooking, Latin dancing, mental relaxing, Excel accounting, theater acting, and last but not least, writing in English. These official courses collect voluntary participants to acquire new skills under the supervision of group leader. Learning group binds individual learners together under the one subject.
Beside the official lifelong learning, we would like to extend your traditional idea about learning. We would like to give you some examples that show how you can spontaneously learn everywhere with computers. The learning can happen at your home laptop or office desktop with Google shared documents as like we have done during our English writing course. All grammar manuals, dictionaries and guidelines can be found on the Internet. As a social aspect, our learning group has opened one homepage in Facebook. It makes it possible to comment the course, if needed. This concept of computerized lifelong learning can be copied into many other courses in different disciplines.
A new and extended lifelong learning contradicts the old idea that we all learn our skills and knowledge at classroom and apply them at workplace. The process of lifelong learning should be understood unseparated from the present time or place. We can learn everywhere and anytime, especially in the era of information and communication technology.
Why do we learn all through our lives?
Why do people learn all their lives? It probably all begins from dreams and future plans. Learning is the only instrument to carry out our plans. And the more instruments a curious mind has, the more he wants to get.
At the same time we all have a lot of free time to dream about a prosperous and colorful future. In fact, we probably spend less hours working than any other generation before us. Our brains and hands need inspiring exercise after monotonic office days in front of a computer screen. We have an ability and will to improve and develop our inner and outer world. Therefore, it is reasonable to argue that lifelong learning is vital for our body and soul.
When do we learn life long ?
Finally you might ask ‘When can I start lifelong learning?’. This should be a rhetorical question. The whole life is the period of learning from the cradle to grave. It is too late when you are six feet under.
However, we should keep in mind that the learning can happen everywhere. At the breakfast table you can mix two kinds of yogurt in one plate and find a new wonderful taste. In addition, learning can happen at your work trip, when you miss your regular bus and need to choose alternative vehicle and route from home to job.
In short, lifelong learning means that you can cope with unfamiliar subjects in safe environment and learn from it. The sky and time are limitless in the world of learning, when you keep our sense and mind open to new things, which can change your life happier.
We hope you are still interested in lifelong learning. We strongly recommend that you restart an old hobby or find new areas from your hidden talents. The sky is limitless in a world of learning. It’s never too late to start the journey of lifelong learning in Vantaa Adult Education Institute.
Therefore, rearrange your calendar for free moments and give yourself a possibility to participate in new courses at the beginning of the next season.
Written by Antti Auvinen and Nikolay Yulle, as part of ’Writing in English’ course.