20 SES 02, Developing Innovative Intercultural Competencies in Multicultural Contexts
With this research, we have as main objective to enhance the students’ capability to articulate their lifelong learning competencies learnt embedded in the academic curriculum, by mean of one specific ‘Lifelong Learning Competencies Program for Higher Education Students’.
Lifelong learning is widely espoused as a goal of Higher Education as well as an essential element in the workplace linked to the vision of the learning society. Its principal aims consist in equipping people with competences required to continue their own self-learning beyond the end of their formal studies. Lifelong learning (LLL) is defined as an intentional learning that people engage in throughout their lives for personal and professional fulfillment and to improve the quality of their lives (Knapper and Cropley, 1985), and it is critical for engaged citizens of the modern knowledge economy.
Lifelong learning creates the challenge to understand, explore, and support new essential dimensions of learning such as: self-directed learning, learning on demand, collaborative learning, and organizational learning (Domik and Fischer, 2005), beside personal development plan. Lifelong learning is an essential challenge for inventing and support the future of our societies.
The Qualifications Framework in the Higher Education Area (QFEHEA, 2009) includes LLL, and stated its learning result as: ‘to be able to identify their own training need in his/her study field and labour and professional environments, and management his/her one learning with a high autonomous grade, in every context (well or bad structured) . Also in the United States of America (USA), ABET, the accreditation body for engineering and technology (ABET, 2011), includes in their outcome i) “a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning”.
Lifelong learning is characterized by self-directed learning, including meta-cognitive awareness, disposition toward learning. But also LLL is characterized by its social and collaborative components, linked to the need to address complex problems in real job environments. Self-directed learning (S-DL), also named Self-Regulated learning (S-RL), is identified as the ability to organize one’s own learning, and requires the ability of learning to learn as well as metacognitive skills (Pintrich, 2004). Metacognition is the learner’s knowledge and regulation of their cognitive process (Flavell, 1997). Self-directed learners are self-confidence, with positive disposition toward learning. By means of strategic awareness, learners are responsible of their own learning processes identifying, finding, using, and critiquing resources for learning, establishing goals and strategies for addressing their learning needs, developing action plans and timelines to guide their learning activities. Competence is the ability to successfully meet complex demands in a particular context, through the mobilization of knowledge, cognitive skills but also practical skills, as well as social and behavior components such as attitudes, emotions, and values and motivations. (Gonzi, 2003).
In order to improve LLL competencies, we have developed one specific 'Lifelong Learning Program for Higher Education’ Students'. The program was presented as a workshop, including presentations on lifelong learning competencies as well as an active learning exercise that helps students recognize their lifelong learning competences developed throughout their undergraduate career.
-ABET, Inc. www.abet.org, Accessed 12 July 2011. -Domik, G. and Fischer, G. (2011). Transdisciplinary Collaboration and Lifelong Learning: Fostering and Supporting New Learning Oportunities. Computer Sicence. 6570, 129-143. -Flavell, J. H. (1977). Cognitive Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. -Gonczi, A.(2003). Teaching and learning of the key competencies. In D.S. Rychen, L. H. Salganik, and M. E. McLaughlin, (Eds.), pp. 97-99. Contributions to the Second DeSeCo (Definition and Selection of Key Competencies) Symposium, Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Neuchâtel. -Knapper, C. and Cropley, A.J. (1985). Lifelong learning in higher education, Kogan Page, Routledge, London. -Lord, S. M., Stefanou, C., Prince, M., Chen, J., and Stolk, J. D. (2011). Student Lifelong Learning Outcomes for Different Learning Environments, Proceedings of the 2011 ASEE Annual Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. -Pintrich, P.R. (2004). A Conceptual Framework for Assessing Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning in College Students. Educational Psychology Review, 16(4), 385-407. -QFEHEA (2009). D.G. Education and Culture. Luxemburg.
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