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ERIC Number: ED499139
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 110
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-0-8643-1425-6
Engaging Secondary School Students in Lifelong Learning
Bryce, Jennifer; Withers, Graeme
ACER Press (Australian Council for Educational Research)
A "lifelong learning" orientation to education is seen as vital if young people are to thrive in the knowledge rich, constantly-changing world of today and the immediate future. This study identifies ways that the foundations for lifelong learning can be built in secondary schools. "Lifelong Learning" is interpreted as engaging people with learning throughout all stages of their lives. Lifelong learning at secondary school level is concerned with keeping students engaged in learning, and developing in those students the characteristics that will make learning an integral and valued part of their lives when they leave school. The report considers: what can it mean to be, or become, a lifelong learner at secondary school? How can secondary schools be helped to orient themselves towards lifelong learning? The report is based on case study work. Seven secondary schools in South Australia and Victoria were visited to explore different kinds of approaches in various kinds of school environments. In addition, a questionnaire was administered to "mature age" tertiary entrants to explore their approaches to learning and their reasons for wanting to return to study. The report acknowledges that all schools are learning communities and that all are in some way engaging students in lifelong learning. It encourages schools to build on their present strengths and to seek a gradual orientation to a lifelong learning approach rather than to sweep aside more traditional practices. Secondary schools with a focus on lifelong learning are seen to have strengths in: (1) Information literacy; (2) Acknowledging the importance of certain values, dispositions and attitudes; (3) Helping students acquire certain generic skills: learning is seen as a form of problem-solving; (4) Valuing every student as a learner and aiming for every student in the school to have positive pictures of themselves as learners; (5) Teaching students how to learn; and (6) Valuing teachers as lifelong learners. Thereport concludes that two obstacles to becoming a lifelong learning school are: (1) Need to change the attitudes of some parents and teachers who expect schools to impose discipline and summative assessment; and (2) Strong influence on the curriculum of end of school examinations which can encourage a short term approach to learning. Questions at the school, teacher and student level, questionnaire for returning students and interview questions for principals and teachers are appended.
Australian Council for Educational Research. Available from: ACER Press. 347 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9835-7447; Fax: +61-3-9835-7499; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Australian Council for Educational Research, Victoria.
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A