What is Lifelong Learning?


Engagement is key to ensure students are hooked into their learning.  This can occur in a variety of ways such as watching a video, some form of competition, doing a hands on activity, and posing a provocative statement (e.g. boys are better than girls at math) are some examples of hooking students into the lesson.

Students who are motivated and hooked into their learning are more likely to produce quality work and stay on task for longer periods of time.  This is heavily influenced by how the lessons are planned for and delivered by the teacher, how they are tailored for student interests and how well they are targeted at student ability (tasks are not too hard and not too easy).

Students who are engaged are open to new learning

This statement is central to our model of lifelong learning.  Whilst this can be established at the beginning of a learning process, it is key that this is also maintained throughout the entire process as well.  At this stage of our learning process it is integral that students are willing participants of the learning process and have a “buy in” to their learning so they are actively listening, thinking, processing and absorbing information and processes. 

 Open learners are identifiable by

  • the depth of questions they use to help them understand concepts
  • their ability to explain their new learning and extend on key ideas
  • their ability to explain their new learning, and extend on key ideas
  • the quality of their work
  • their involvement in activities and classroom discussions

Those who are actively learning will look to clarify their learning through questions at the higher end of blooms taxonomy, where students are analysing and evaluating information.


Students that explore can find, understand and use information


They may gather and find their information in a number of forms from watching videos, research on the internet, exploring our environment, practicing a golf swing, discussing concepts with other students etc.  Gathering involves anything that students do to find out information and gather it in to use to help them understand a concept or answer a question, with the emphasis on finding that information themselves rather than it being given to them.


Before students can use their information, they need to understand it.  This involves them doing things such as checking their understanding of the vocabulary they have found, they may have broken something down to see how it works (an action such as a golf swing or a piece of equipment), summarising their information in their own words, be able to explain their ideas to others or explaining their thinking to a teacher or another student etc.


Once their information has been gathered, it is important for the students to organise and use that information before creating something new.  The challenge for students here is to make use of the information they have gathered.  This is often, but not exclusively, in the form of a graphic organiser, where students can compare and contrast, order, rank, organise, present, show cause/effect etc.  By using their information in this way it means that they are required to think about the information they have gathered and form their own opinions about their information.  In writing lessons their “using” of new information may be in the form of using new knowledge in new pieces of writing they create.


Students express their learning by creating something new

This is often, though not exclusively, at the end of a process of learning where students create something to show their learning.  Presentations can be completed in a variety of forms such as videos, power points, posters, models etc, and we encourage students to pick the most appropriate form that best suits their needs.  This stage can be broken into two levels of understanding.

I have learnt and understood

This work would generally present information they have learnt throughout the learning process.  This might be new knowledge they have acquired (e.g. learning information about how an earthquake happens), or new understanding of a concept (e.g. learning a new math strategy). This presentation is generally focussed around the first two stages of Blooms taxonomy of Remember and Understand.

I have created new knowledge

This type of presentation is aimed higher in Blooms hierarchy and involves students using their new knowledge and apply that new information in different situations.  This is essentially building on knowledge in the first level, and then using that information to create new knowledge to share with others.  This may include such things as analysing and making evaluations, designing and inventing, making and justifying hypotheses, creating alternatives etc.


Throughout this process there will be a number of times for students to share their learning with others, whether it is with those in their own group, the class, or the wider community.  We see it as essential to ensure students are reflecting on their learning throughout using co-constructed criteria.  It is also important that we help each other by providing constructive peer feedback.