Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, rather than competitiveness and employability.
It’s a concept that I find very interesting because I’m convinced that the pursuit of knowledge is what can bring you power and success. When I take the bus in the morning, I’m always surprised to see that most of the people I commute with are playing games on their phones or are just doing nothing when they could read and learn new things.
But what makes a lifelong learner? Thanks to a book I’m currently reading, I discovered that the European Parliament and Council wrote a recommendation in 2006 (here) defining eight key points of competence. I’m very surprised to find that kind of thing written by a European institution. No, they don’t always spend their time trying to create rules for things they don’t truly understand. Sometimes, they can also do very inspiring stuff. Here’s the complete list of skills:
- Communication in the mother tongue;
- Communication in foreign languages;
- Mathematical competence and basic competencies in science and technology;
- Digital competence;
- Learning to learn;
- Social and civic competencies;
- Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; and
- Cultural awareness and expression.
The key competencies are all considered equally important because each of them can contribute to a successful life in a knowledge society. Many of the competencies overlap and interlock: aspects essential to one domain will support competence in another. Competence in the fundamental basic skills of language, literacy, numeracy, and information and communication technologies (ICT) is an essential foundation for learning, and learning to learn supports all learning activities.
Do you agree with this? Do you have them all?