Lifelong learning and the role of trainers


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Lifelong learning and the role of trainers

  1. 1. Lifelong learning and the role of trainers – promoting learning for ‘mass innovation’ rather than ‘mass qualification’ Trainers in Europe – on-line conference, 4-5 Nov 2008 Barry Nyhan, Neamhspleach , Dublin and Visiting Fellow, University of Bremen
  2. 2. ‘ Mass qualification’ notion of Lifelong learning (LLL) <ul><li>Lifelong Learning (LLL) has become synonymous with gaining more and more qualifications throughout one’s life with the role of trainers being to ensure that these qualifications are continuously acquired and assessed/validated </li></ul><ul><li>This can be termed a ‘mass qualification’ notion of LLL </li></ul><ul><li>However, it is argued that this is an overly academic perspective on LLL, but also importantly it only meets a small percentage of the population and is too costly. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Qualification notion of LLL misses where people learn <ul><li>Most people say they learn outside educational institutes in ‘informal learning’ situations such as – ‘getting together with other people’ ( 63%) ‘leisure activities ’ (51 %) ‘learning on the job’ (44%) </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast, learning ‘at school, college or university (17%) ( Reference : Cedefop, Eurobarometer, 2003 ) </li></ul>
  4. 4. ‘Mass innovation’ notion of LLL <ul><li>The mass innovation notion of LLL focuses on facilitating, promoting and enhancing informal learning. </li></ul><ul><li>It is about learning to use everyday experiences as learning experiences about being innovative - in planning for the future and resolving one’s personal and working life problems. </li></ul><ul><li>This kind of LLL is expansive, situation-based and boundary-less. It is as wide as life itself - ‘life-wide’ as the Nordics describe it </li></ul>
  5. 5. Trainers role is to support community based learning <ul><li>However one cannot learn on one’s own, it has to be supported by creating communities of learning, and this is where the trainers (learning specialists) come in – forming and supporting learning communities </li></ul><ul><li>The challenge for the modern trainer (in particular the vocational education trainer) is to be a catalyst and moderator in developing communities that can learn to address the issues confronting them in their practical social and work contexts. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Difference between the two types of LLL <ul><li>The qualification awarding notion of LLL is driven by the kind of knowledge that can be certified, is rational, compartmentalized, modularised and can be universalised (formal knowledge) </li></ul><ul><li>whereas the innovation notion of LLL is addressing knowledge that is characterized by context, uniqueness, the local and the integration of formal with the informal knowledge. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Web technology <ul><li>Web-based technology can be used by trainers to promote both of these types of LLL – the computer is being used widely to address the qualification agenda through assisting the systematisation, administration, and assessment of formal learning. </li></ul><ul><li>However, although it is a powerful tool to promote informal learning through facilitating conversation to share and collaborate in the production of new knowledge, it is grossly underutilised by the general public </li></ul><ul><li>The web-based learning technology challenge for trainers is to address this </li></ul>