“There are a few educators who disagree with the principle that lifelong learning is a good thing but the important questions are about the types of learning that the concept promotes, the life that it encourages us to lead, who benefits from this and the nature of society that it upholds’.


Lifelong learning is such a varied experience with each individual. Learning comes with not only a defined subject matter from a classroom but emerges from a space of mental emotional and spiritual growth. All of these are a lifelong process which can be defined or related to formal or informal learning. I feel these types of learning that supports this particular quote and with growth in any learning is a process, or rather a stepping stone to becoming a more evolved as a human being.
Learning from a classroom or through life experiences is really one in the same. This is benefited from those who aspire to learn from us, whether it is our children, students, parents or spouses.
This quote caught my attention on how I related it to my own lifelong learning journey. I have been in the same profession for 25+ years and have always wanted to learn more, not necessarily about my chosen career but I just wanted MORE. I have since taken many courses, general interest and even have a diploma in alternative medicine. I see things very holistically. That whole process has guided me to this point. Those were my stepping stones. Without them I wouldn’t be here. Each step gave me more experience, more skills, more confidence and more opportunity to lead.
In context to the reading about adult education being a concept that moves past formal education into lifelong learning extending into the workplace to meet labour needs. It’s more about taking that information and extending it into other areas of our life. Whenever my husband or myself take a course through work it always has a component that can relate and extend into our real life situations.

From this quote as a teacher I have to realise and recognise that our learning never ends, we always have to adapt to our students and their needs of different and varied types of learning. We become lifelong learners inherently through this, always having to enhance our skills and techniques to engage and interact with our students. It’s not just about passing on information it’s a process of communicating and delivering knowledge, its developing confidence within our students to achieve success. When they are enabled to achieve their goals it changes lives. We have the ability to give them a skill. It’s not something to be taken lightly.

I guess my AHA moment was mentioned back in objectives about how life learning is like stepping stones. It all is a process and something that was learned years ago comes into play and contributes to everything that you achieve moving forward in life. I was told at a very young age that education was NEVER a waste, in any aspect of how you learn. “The life it encourages us to lead and who benefits?’ For myself I have a valuable skill with what I have done in my work, lots of experience in dentistry and people in general. Especially using my knowledge of holistic medicine and different profiles of people. I’ve been able to use that with my patients and students. It has helped me connect with them and help me teach. With adult learners they have the motivation and genuine interest to acquire a new skill and appreciate the information I have to offer. That is what encourages me to be an adult educator.

After reflecting on this quote it makes me realise teaching is serious business! We have the ability to nurture and guide students but we also have the ability to mess them up! Our students look up to us for the education they need to move forward, we have a responsibility to provide that to them. They still have to take it upon themselves for the learning but with adults the motivation is different. It makes me more self-aware and conscious of who I’m teaching and how I can address the needs of my students so they can learn in their own way. It’s a huge responsibility. I have to recognise that how I learn: I may be more inclined to teach my style which isn’t going to work for everyone. I need to keep myself and my ego in check and be able to adapt. Know that I am apart of someone else’s “stepping stone.” Those are the benefits and I’m apart of that society that it upholds.

Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2014). Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice. San Francisco, CA: Joseey-Bass.

Draves, William, fourth Edition, (2014) How to Teach Adults, LERN Books, Wisconsin