Lifelong Learning: Looking at Triggers for Adult Learning

By Kenneth Kungu and Krisanna Machtmes.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

It is widely accepted that the ability to be a lifelong learner is a necessity if one is to survive in the current rapidly-changing and technologically-complex society. The importance of lifelong learning in achieving societal and personal goals is rarely challenged. Despite the fact that it is a widely written-on subject, conceptual ambiguity still appears to plague the lifelong learning concept. Consensus is yet to be achieved on the definition of lifelong learning. Also, the original broad conceptions of lifelong learning which were largely driven by humanistic ideals, and which emphasized diverse purposes of learning are increasingly yielding to narrower conceptions that emphasizes mostly learning for work-related reasons and economic competitiveness. The key to drawing benefits of lifelong learning is having as wide a population as possible participating in lifelong learning. Non-participation has been identified as a key problem in lifelong learning literature.

This paper involves a review of empirical studies that investigate, and conceptual papers that discuss triggers for adult learning, and discusses its applicability to the lifelong learning concept. It is argued in this paper that understanding the triggers for adult learning provides a basis for defining lifelong learning in a manner that pays close fidelity to the original broad conceptions of lifelong learning that capture its life-wide and lifelong aspects. Also, looking at triggers for adult learning has implications for understanding participation in lifelong learning.

Keywords: Lifelong Learning, Learning Triggers, Participation in Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp.501-512. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.270MB).

Dr. Kenneth Kungu

Doctoral Candidate, School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Kenneth Kungu is a doctoral candidate at the School of Human Resource Education, Louisiana State University specializing in Adult Education/Human Resource Development. His main research interests include lifelong learning, self-directed learning, and adult participation in learning.

Dr. Krisanna Machtmes

Associate Professor, School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA


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