Friday, 28 December 2007

The 5Rs of Lifelong Learning

The Learning to Learn project was originally conceived by the Campaign for Learning in 2000 in response to substantial changes in education and advances in the understanding of learning. Indeed, it does make sense for schools to develop confident, successful lifelong learners, who are ready to learn a wide range of contents and skills and have the flexibility to negotiate, manage and take up new challenges.

What makes a good learner? The Campaign has developed the 5Rs for lifelong learning model to establish what knowledge, skills and attitudes should be included in a learning to learn approach.

It is the Campaign’s belief that by using learning to learn approaches to develop the 5Rs in all their students, schools can achieve their core purpose, namely preparing young people so that they can and will continue learning effectively throughout their lives.

The 5 R are as follows:

Students know how:
to assess their own motivation
to set their own goals and connect to the learning
to achieve a positive learning state, including their preferred learning environment
to use a learning to learn language.

Students know how:
the mind works and how humans learn
to assess their own preferred learning style, including how to take in information
to seek out and use information, including through ICT
to communicate effectively in different ways
to use different approaches to learning.

Students know how:
to apply learned optimism and self-efficacy approaches
to empathise and use EQ approaches
to proceed when stuck
to ask(critical)questions.

Students know how:
to use different memory approaches
to make connections
to apply learning, including in different contexts.

Students know how:
to ask questions, observe, see patterns, experiment and evaluate learning.

Some of these 5R reminds me of Guy Claxton’s 4R of Building Learning Power. Same aim, same issues? These lifelong learning skills are essential and all we need to do now is challenge our own heavily subject-related learning experiences. Could subjects just be a mere vehicle for the teaching of these skills? With a less prescriptive curriculum in terms of contents ahead of us, this could be the perfect time to reconsider our teaching priorities…

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