News > How do we define learning environments in the 21st century?

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  • 13th June 2018 - 17:19 GMT

How do we define learning environments in the 21st century?

Initiated by EAEA and Lifelong Learning Platform together with a number of MEPs, the Interest Group on Lifelong Learning brings together civil society representatives and MEPs to discuss key issues connected to lifelong learning with strong emphasis on adult education.

On 6 June, the Lifelong Learning Interest Group met to discuss the topic of 21st Century Learning Environments: where is non-formal and informal learning in the Future of Learning? The meeting served as an opportunity to reflect on the extent to which EU policies support a modern understanding of learning environments; in other words, give value to learning that occurs beyond the formal sector.

Throughout the discussions, speakers highlighted a number of issues relevant to how we conceive learning environments in the 21st century. Participants mentioned: the need to update the traditional relationship between educators and learners; recognising the increasing role of teachers as “facilitators” rather than controllers of the learning experience; the crucial role of lifelong learning in helping people adapt to digital and other forms of change; the value of arts and humanities alongside science-based disciplines (shifting from STEM to STEAM); as well as the recognition and validation of prior learning.

The need to integrate such concerns into the ongoing work of the European Commission on realising the vision for a European Education Area was emphasised by several speakers.

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