Thursday, July 27, 2017

Alan Tuckett — Lifelong learning helps people, governments and business. Why don't we do more of it?

This is one of the most important questions that can be asked socially, political, and economically because lifelong learning is a significant factor in raising the level of collective consciousness that shapes individual decision making, social behavior, cultural development, and institutional arrangements worldwide.

The single most productive investment is in education in the broadest sense. But it must be quality education rather than education for education's sake, credentials, or job training. Genuine education is unfolding full potential for living a full life rather than teaching toward the test.

This rest on the question, what is living the good life in a good society? This has been an enduring question in the Western intellectual tradition, as well as other traditions.

World Economic Forum | Agenda
Lifelong learning helps people, governments and business. Why don't we do more of it?
Alan Tuckett | Professor of Education, University of Wolverhampton


Dan Lynch said...

I could easily be a professional student, if it were economically feasible and socially acceptable. Maybe work 2/3 of the time and study the other third, for a reasonable balance.

Of course George Carlin already answered the headline's question: They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin' years ago. They don't want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork.

The larger companies that I've worked for did provide some training, or else encouraged/forced us to take college classes and seminars. For the most part I enjoyed it and felt it was helpful except for the coercive classes and seminars that I did not choose and did not have time for. I would rather volunteer for things that I'm actually interested in.

Ryan Harris said...

Old dogs, new tricks? As we age our cognitive abilities decline significantly. Might make it harder and more frustrating than usual to tackle difficult new topics from scratch where it requires a great deal or reordering the chaos in our brains.

jrbarch said...

Some facts from the chapter on Rejuvenation - The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge:

- Neuronal stem cells, discovered in the hippocampus in 1998, can divide and differentiate to become neurons or glial cells
- Stem cells don’t have to specialise but can continue to divide, producing exact replicas of themselves; and they can go on doing this endlessly without any signs of aging (neurogenisis) until the day we die
- Songbirds sing new songs each season; they grow new brain cells in the area of the brain responsible for song learning
- Neuron stem cells are also found in the olfactory bulb (smell), the septum (emotion) and striatum (movement)
- Neurogenesis can strengthen mental capacity when we learn something new, rather than simply replaying already-mastered skills - even in old age
- Young people perform cognitive tasks largely in the temporal lobes; over 65’s in the frontal lobes – the more education they have the more they use the frontal lobes (brain plasticity, shifting function from one lobe to another)
-In aging, prefrontal activities that once took place in one hemisphere now take place in both; the brain compensates
- Exercise and mental activity in animals generate and sustain more brain cells; many studies show humans who are mentally active have better brain function; exercise stimulates the neuronal growth factor BDNF which plays a crucial role in plastic change, stimulates the motor and sensory cortices, and maintains the brain’s balance system. Without this stimulation, old people fall over
- Age related memory loss is reversible with the right activities
- Challenging mental activities increase the likelihood hippocampal neurons will survive
- Thinking ‘I am at the end of the road’ is a self fulfilling prophecy
- At ninety FLW designed the Guggenheim museum

When Pablo Casala, the cellist, was ninety-one years old, he was approached by a student who asked, “Master, why do you continue to practice?” Casals replied, “Because I am making progress.”

Ignacio said...

Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork.

What happens when the machines can run themselves and do the paperwork though? :thinking: