Life Long learning – a concept embraced by many Australian politicians and policy makers alike – for many years. More of us are embracing educational pursuits – both formal and informal. Education is becoming more the norm than not.
An estimated 1 in 5 Australian adults are undertaking formal education. That’s over three million of us true blue Aussies hitting the books – nearly 20% of people aged 15 -64 years.
Education is worth more than we thought in Australia. It is our third largest export. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the annual education exports in 2016-17 increased to $28 billion, a 19 per cent increase in value. To put this into perspective the value of education exports over the previous decade has generated an income of $195 billion.
Australians are talking about education, enrolling in education and exporting education. Education is big business. Lifelong learning is a thing.
Adult Learners are giving education a go. We have considered the course, the cost and the time commitment. There are a few other things to consider if the lifelong learner is the create an environment that will support success. It is essential to master these six points if you are to set yourself up for success.
Think about how well you’re communicating with the people who matter most to you –
Think about your mental state. Are you prepared to commit to this learning contract? Are you aware of the time and cost involved? How can this learning change your life? What rewards are you expecting from this effort?
How will learning change your social life? Will you give up some social time? Will you plan some social time? Will you feel comfortable to meet new people through your learning? If you are studying online, how will you manage a group chat or video call? Will you turn the camera on?
4. Share with ‘Study Buddies ‘
Get together with your study buddies. I am a strong believer in group learning – it is not cheating, it is learning by talking and sharing. Create a network or learners. Help them and they will help you. Learning is not a competition, it is collaboration.
5. Read more
Reading is also strongly associated with learning so get your reading list on track. What are you really interested in? Are you pursuing it? Do you read books, comics, websites, e-books, magazines etc. Find something new and read it.
6. Set clear goals and intentions
Get clear on what you want to achieve. Get clear on when you want to achieve it. Identify who can help you. Develop a picture of what life will look like when you have successfully completed your learning.
I am a lifelong learner. I like learning. I like learning so much that I teach.
I have taught formally and informally. I have taught in the classroom and in the workplace.
I have taught kindergarten to University level. I have taught 4-year olds to 70-year old’s. I have taught language to people who have had no experience with learning in the classroom and to people with Master’s Degree.
I have learnt that learners are all different, but similar. Some people are confident, and then some learn to become confident.
These tips have worked for me. This list is not extensive. It is merely the beginning of your new life. You are not alone though – the numbers are growing. More people are learning.
What’s the point?
Building our education system builds business and builds community. Effective educational workplaces expand when open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. Effective education workers grow when open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. Effective educational leaders are influential when open to learn and open to change. They want to do better.
What’s really going on?
The Australian Vocational Education sector has undergone change. It has evolved. Trainers need qualification in Education and Assessment. These qualifications are made regularly redundant, forcing VET Trainers to become VET learners, again. Qualifications are update, which means assessment and training material needs to be modified. VET Sector professionals need to stay up to date but I think there is a better way to empower VET professionals and therefore the sector.
According to ASAQ, there are around 5000 RTO’s (Registered Training Organisations) in NSW. These RTO’s form part of the national Vocational Education and Training Sector. The Vet Sector is crucial to the Australian economy; both for the development of the national workforce and as a major export industry. (from https://www.asqa.gov.au/about/australias-vet-sector)
Australian Education is an export product that is attracting a huge income. In 2017, International education is Australia’s third-largest export earner, contributing many more than 130,000 jobs here in Australia…76% of our international students chose Australia as their first preference destination, compared to 71% in 2014 or 70% in 2012. (http://monitor.icef.com/2017/10/australian-education-exports-approaching-aus29-billion/)
Australian education is becoming more attractive for students wanting to come to this country to learn but is also becoming an influence in countries in Asia as Australian Educational Organisations set up shop in those countries.
What do I think about that?
I am proud to be a part of the Australian Education system. I am a passionate teacher having taught Primary School students, High School students, Vocational Educational students and University students. I think that what we do is great but there is room for improvement. Considering the importance that education plays on our national economy, it is time to review, research and implement change. Teaching workplaces need to be open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. Teachers need to be open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. Teaching and learning leaders need to be open to learn and open to change. They want to do better. We can do better.
What we need to do?
Be open to learn and be open to change. Simple.