Motivation for Lifelong Learning: Role of Positive Environments and Supportive Relationships

By Siew Kheng Ng.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

A model of lifelong learning participation was derived from a study using grounded theory to analyse data collected through in-depth interviews of a group of successful lifelong learners in Singapore. Part of this model was described in an earlier article in this journal (Vol 15, No 9, 2008). In this model, the concept of learning career is used to analyse engagement in lifelong learning as a process which takes place in different stages over time. This article adds to the earlier article by completing the model through the inclusion of contextual factors. It shows how different spheres of influence, such as family, government, community, economy and work, can affect an individual's lifelong learning journey, either positively or negatively. This further strengthens the argument in the previous article for a more holistic approach to lifelong learning. The important role played by positive environments and supportive relationships in motivating lifelong learning must not be underestimated if countries hope to ensure the successful cultivation of a lifelong learning culture.

Keywords: Lifelong Learning, Adult learning, Motivation, Grounded Theory, Insider Perspective, Learning Career, Learner Identities, Holistic Approach

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp.417-430. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.313MB).

Dr. Siew Kheng Ng

SIM University, Singapore

Dr. Ng worked as a Pre-University Economics lecturer for about twenty years. Subsequently, she worked as an adjunct lecturer in a polytechnic before deciding to undertake a doctoral course at University of Durham, UK. As partial fulfilment of the requirements for her doctoral degree, she submitted a thesis entitled “An Insider Perspective of Lifelong Learning in Singapore: Beyond the Economic Perspective”, which she defended successfully in April 2007. She is currently an associate faculty at SIM University (UniSIM), Singapore’s first private university for adult learners.


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