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Why lifelong learning is the international passport to success

The lifelong passport

Nowadays, everybody is aware of the importance a university diploma has for one's future. However, the fact that learning goes beyond the five years spent at university is just started to be taken into account by the different universities. 

The so-called 'lifelong passport' refers to the possibility of continuously learning, no matter your age, as the labor market always requires newly improved skills.

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Why lifelong learning is the international passport to success

Why lifelong learning is the international passport to success

https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/lifelong-learning

bigthink.com

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Key Ideas

The lifelong passport

Nowadays, everybody is aware of the importance a university diploma has for one's future. However, the fact that learning goes beyond the five years spent at university is just started to be taken into account by the different universities. 

The so-called 'lifelong passport' refers to the possibility of continuously learning, no matter your age, as the labor market always requires newly improved skills.

Learning practical skills

Subjects like maths and physics provide you with an appropriate base for lifelong learning. 

Another major component of this process refers to the high importance of learning through projects, which eventually enables students to gather up practical skills, that can easily be kept and improved throughout their life.

Advantages and disadvantages of lifelong learning

While resorting to lifelong learning may provide some advantages, such as enabling individuals of different ages and professional experience levels to share their knowledge, it also has certain disadvantages like the fact that the time the learners are supposed to devote to learning is decreasing the moments spent with their family.

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Learning how to learn

Learning how to learn is a meta-skill. It is a critical skill for everyone who needs to pick up and master new concepts frequently.

Understanding what is learning and how our memory works wil...

Learning skills

Learning how to learn is critical for everyone. Most of us have to deal with a changing world and to learn how to manage tons of new information.

However, most of our learning methods are outdated and far from optimal. It may even be giving us an illusion of learning, like re-reading and highlighting that don't provide proper feedback to show what you haven't learned.

Focused and Diffuse Mode

Focused and diffuse modes provide two models for how we develop, elaborate, deepen and broaden connections. Both methods are important.

  • The focused mode of learning is about bringing related concepts together into a unit, called a chunk. 
  • The diffuse mode operates through a wider net of connecting general ideas across different fields. We use this diffuse mode while we sleep, exercise or daydream.

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Maintenance Learning

Maintenance learning refers to you keeping current with your field.

Reading an occasional book and keeping current with blogs and newsletters is not equivalent to adding to your educat...

Growth Learning

It is the kind of learning that adds new knowledge and skills to your repertoire. With growth learning, you’re acquiring new information that enables you to do things that you could not do previously.

You can discover great ideas by listening to podcasts, reading blogs, and reading books.

Shock Learning

Shock learning is learning that contradicts knowledge that you already have. That’s the kind of learning that generates innovation

If you don’t ignore or resist the unexpected, this “shock” can give you insights to enable you to take advantage of a major change in the marketplace or guard against a serious reversal. 

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Easy and Convenient
Easy and Convenient

Online learning gives us a choice and is a flexible virtual approach to learning, but it is not easier or faster, and one still has to learn. It is convenient due to zero commute time, no parking ...

Online Vs Physical Books

Are online books as good as physical books in terms of reading?

Reading on paper (physical books) is slightly better than online, but it comes down to personal preferences. In most cases, students have a choice.

The Cost Disparity

Online course development is a relatively new learning technique, and regular brick and mortar universities did not traditionally have any resources allocated in their operating budget. 

Over time, this cost disparity may fade away as online learning becomes a regular part of the budget, and initial capital costs are normalized.

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When Employees are Learning

Learning as an adult can be challenging. Leaders need to foster an environment of psychological safety among its workforce that is in the midst of re-skilling itself.

It helps if leaders...

Long-Term Outlook

It helps to keep an eye on the long-term benefits and roles of the future. Leaders need to be transparent and help people in their organization understand where the world is heading in the next 3 to 5 years.

There is a need to transition the company culture as the current leadership roles are no longer sufficient. This is to ensure the company will thrive in the future.

A Safe Place To Learn
  • Just like we create the right learning space for our children at home, we need to provide an atmosphere where people can tinker, learn, fail and grow.
  • Failing as an adult is difficult, but is part of the unlearning process. The right environment can make employees feel motivated and empowered while having some amount of challenge and healthy conflict.

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The Feynman Technique

... is the perfect strategy for learning something new, deepening your understanding of a concept, enhancing your recall of certain ideas, or reviewing for tests.

The process t...

Richard Feynman

... the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, was recognized as someone who could clearly explain complex topics in a way that everybody—even those without degrees in the sciences—could understand

While studying at Princeton, Feynman began recording and connecting the information he knew with the things that he either didn't know or didn't understand.
This resulted in a complete notebook of topics and subjects that he had disassembled, translated, reassembled, and written down in simple terms.

The Benefits of the Feynman Technique
  • It helps you gain a complete understanding of what you're learning.
  • Use the Feynman Technique if you are struggling with tough subject matter.
  • It helps to improve your teaching skills.
  • It increases your capacity to use critical thinking skills.

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Critical thinkers need the knowledge first

Employers need critical thinkers, but they cannot find them.

Focussing on knowledge only in college does not seem to help. Neither does it help to only focus on intellectual and cognitive sk...

The focus of skills over knowledge

Considering the K-12 system, we see that the emphasis on skills over content has changed the curriculum. Students increasingly focus on learning skills, but they may not learn too much history or science.

Critical thinking is not enough on its own. It needs to be used to gain insight from studying meaningful subject matter, like history or economics or physics or chemistry.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a disciplined activity. It is not something we can acquire without intensive study and practice, nor can we isolate it from knowledge. Knowledge is foundational to provide the structure to do deep thinking.

Only with some background knowledge, can we apply the skills of critical thinking to problems and texts, understand the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and offer creative solutions.

Single & Double Loop Learning

The first time we aim for a goal, follow a rule or make a decision, we are engaging in single loop learning. 
If we question our approaches and make honest self-assessments, we shift...

How Success Becomes an Impediment

Many skilled people excel at single loop learning where they become accustomed only to success. 

They aren’t used to failing, so they struggle to learn from their mistakes and often respond by blaming someone else.

“their ability to learn shuts down precisely at the moment they need it the most.”

The Key to Double Loop Learning
Push the single loop to the point of failure, to strengthen how you act in the double loop.
  • Stop getting defensive. Instead, collect and analyze relevant data, draw conclusions and test  them.
  • Change your mental models. Problem-solving isn’t a linear process where you can make one decision and then sit back and await success.
  • Fail early. Fail fast. If you learn to deal with failure you can have a worthwhile career.

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Set Learning Styles

There’s no research to support learning styles. 

How to really learn: Match your content to the process - students should learn music by listening to music, while students should ...

Rereading Material

How to really learn: Instead of rereading, highlighting, or underlining important information, ask yourself:

  • ‘What is the author trying to say?’ 
  • 'How is this different than other things I’ve read?’ 
  • 'How does this relate to other material I know?’ 
Focusing On One Subject At A Time

When it comes to learning a difficult subject, people often believe you should practice one thing at a time.

How to really learn: Mixing it up, however, is a better approach. In mixed learning, you get a chance to see the core idea below it.

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Richard Feynman (1918–1988) "The Great Explainer”

He is considered to be one of the most important physicists of all time.

Feynman was brilliant, eloquent, and an exquisitely passionate thinker who stands unequivocally for his...
The Feynman Technique
The Feynman technique for teaching and communication is a mental model (a breakdown of his personal thought process) to convey information using to the point thoughts and simple language.

Feynman started to record and connect the things he did know with those he did not know, resulting in a thorough notebook of subjects that had been disassembled, translated, and recorded.

We can use this same model to learn new concepts.

“In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of sc...

“In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of science, such as words, and when we are teaching science itself.” 

Richard Feynman

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