What is life long learning?

By Ingrid Hole

What do any of us know about life long learning, and who is
responsible for it? The Committee has published a new research report called Freedom with Responsibility (NOU 2000:14), where it states "Education shall lay the foundation for life long learning".

Whose responsibility is it to take the findings of this research seriously, and to ensure that the conditions are right for the mature student in further education? Is it the education institutions, the employer, or the individual?

Here in Norway there are two learning models: learning at work and traditional education. There are vast differences in how these systems define knowledge, measure competence and ensure the quality of the overall competence of the individual.

The Committee is introducing a reform that will apply to all
adults, both those in employment and those not in employment.

The Committee views the problem in a long and a short-term perspective. An important premise for implementing the reform is that employers, employees and the State contribute constructively to the implementation process. Arrangements must be made for financing and leave of absence, and not least educational institutions must make preparations for accepting adults. Everyone will then be provided for and given opportunities. The aim of the project is to further develop the knowledge and skills of adults who so desire, and who will safeguard their own opportunities in a life long learning process.

What is action competence?

It is important to find an effective way of defining and comparing the knowledge and skills acquired from employment and the educational system.

Furthermore, it is important to bring unconscious knowledge to light by getting the employee to define his skills. The person that carries out

the actual competence is best placed to describe its content. I therefore believe that the individual must be made aware of his own competence(s). If we can express this, then the competence concept becomes a more justified reality.

How is competence measured?

In regulated exams, study plans "guarantee" the quality of the learning process, and the final result is regarded in relation to that which is official and approved.

Companies on the other hand have a need to map the holistic competence in order to be constantly up to date with regard to the actual, and true competence held by the employees. This then forms a more accurate picture of the competitive power the companies have.

When the research is realised by way of reforms, the learning process must be drawn nearer to common practice and aimed at professions. The educational institutions must communicate with companies and
organisations so that changes and reforms do not lead us in many different directions.

The intention must be: How do we maintain the focus on life long learning?

It is important that the educational institutions and the companies know how to "encounter" and provide for the individual when he wants to learn more. It is important for the individual to define his own competence.

It is important that the educational institutions and the companies know how to "encounter" and provide for the individual when he wants to learn more. It is important for the individual to define his own competence.


Your Career Path ©

By Ingrid Hole

Why do you need to think about your career?
What does it mean to you?

Many will associate “career” with success and high income, a successful professional life with an element of decadence. This is not my interpretation. The Latin word “carraria”, means (cart) road in English. By putting this into a personal context, your career is related to your life and your development. Then your can make a framework for further development of your knowledge and skills, thereby influencing your opportunities.

Not an expense

Within organisation and management, we are not used to describing what we

can or cannot do. There is a long tradition of avoiding summarising the true competence of the individual.

Should any competence file exist within your organisation, you should know about who had set the criterion for defining the competence? Are you familiar with the content of this file?

Unfortunately, there is also a tradition in viewing employees as a cost and this often used as a legitimate reason for downsizing. Who is then owner of the competence? You are!

It is absolutely possible, and never too late to play an active role in your development. A good idea is to implement your own focussed and systematic development plan. This will provide a more solid and broader competence platform. It is important that you make an effort to be better prepared when competing with others for jobs that are being apportioned.

Competency, it influences you and your competence!


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