You are here: Home / Course / Learning for Life / Learning for Life - Overview

Learning for Life - Overview

Skills and values that will help you to keep learning so you can make the most of the opportunities you have.

A framework for continuous learning

If you want to keep learning for the rest of your life you need a good inner framework for that. To get one, you need to develop the following question-centered skills up to the level of a habit and cultivate the associated values:

Skills

Values
Ability to ask questions about everything and to focus on good questions curiosity, intuition, ethics
Find and use appropriate tools for answering questions know-how-we-know, expertise, precision, scientific literacy
Collaborate with other experts at limits of own expertise teamwork, humility, intercultural knowledge
Assess quality of answers critical thinking, humility, assertiveness
Present results written, oral communication skills, serving others

You will notice that the values associated with a skill need to balance each other. To find the right balance is an important part of our continual learning.

Educational domains

To make progress on this journey, we all need to grow in the following educational domains:

  1. Thinking skills 
  2. Emotional skills
  3. Physical skills
  4. Social skills
  5. Organization skills
Details on which skills are particularly helpful are on the corresponding pages. 

Stages of learning a new skill

Many important skills in life are not learned quickly. It can be helpful to consider the following stages of learning a skill, some of which often overlap:
StageTasksDangersHelp
Info Know about the existence of the skill. Confusing information with skill. Books, talks, papers, friends, internet....
Watch See how others do it in practical detail. Confusing elegance of experts with ease of learning. Teachers, mentors, colleagues, friends, family, ...
Toy Do the smallest possible exercise of the skill. Thinking that now you have the skill. Instructors, courses, labs, anywhere, ...
Train Exercises grow in difficulty and independence at right pace. Too fast frustrates; too slow bores; both turn off. Confusing training with real life. You finding opportunities for practice; good teachers, mentors, ... takes a lot of effort; you need a safe place to make errors.
Hunger Growing interest in real life vs exercise differences; hunger for details on real life. Over-confidence or fear of engaging with real life (depends on personality) Talks, books, articles, throw-away-comments from real-life experts in the skill are a goldmine. 
Do Independently practice your new skill. Thinking you don't need help anymore. Mentors and peers for questions and feedback.
Grow Master real life problems that grow in difficulty at right pace. Stop learning (hard problems are too frequent so you give up or too rare, so you think you know it all). Good mentors and friends. 
Explain Say in words to others how you do it. Be a know-it-all. Overwhelming audience. Learn from teachers how to teach and from audiences how they learn.
Teach Help others grow into all the above. Give them what they need. Overwhelming or underwhelming others. Other good teachers, mentors, peers.
Whichever stage you're at with your research skills, this course is designed to help you along your journey by showing you new things and giving you opportunities to practice. The weekly ReLog postings allow you to explain to your fellow students what you have learned, a powerful way for you to reflect and consolidate your own learning.