I’ve been interested in lifelong learning ever since I walked into my first adult education class at Syracuse University in 1982. Within that big topic, I’ve been most interested in how professionals–particuarly college faculty–manage their professional and personal learning projects. (My own learning was permanently shaped by my work with Roger Himestra and Ralph Brockett as faculty members at Syracuse University.)
I’m also interested in how colleges prepare students to learn throughout their lives. Almost every college or university mission statement contains some rhetoric about helping students to prepare for lifelong learning. Unfortunately, those same universities don’t provide much detail about how they actually accomplish that goal. Are there relatively simple things that colleges could do a much better job of help students learn how to learn and how to take more responsibility for managing their own learning?
The Chautauqua Institution
For me the epitome of a self-directed learning community is the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York, where I’m fortunate to spend the summer away from Virginia’s summer heat and humidity. We missed going there last summer because of the COVID, but we’re planning to go back this summer.