Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Lifelong Learning and Its Discontents
(There's an interesting geographical issue here: for those who must regularly take classes to maintain certification, such classes must either be nearby, online, or easy to do over a long weekend...)
In other cases it takes the form of recertification classes, as noted by Anonymous above, but there is a move to generate cash flow from profitable classes taught to retirees. That is probably what you are hearing about on the leadership side, and ties in with what you wrote two days ago about an older demographic going to college.
In my hitch at Wayne State, I encountered something else flying under the banner "College of Lifelong Learning" that offered degrees in general studies. Let's say it was in bad odor among some of my colleagues in the more traditional disciplines.
It sounds like this new model is an attempt to get in on the professional development and recertification business. Converted teachers colleges get a lot of their masters and doctoral students from the ranks of teachers seeking a pay raise or a promotion. So if there's a way to get the same kind of business going among other crafts and professions, why not?
There's a fourth kind of lifelong learning, which takes place completely outside of college or school (although a few of the skills acquired in school are helpful.) Ask anyone who is working on a proper family history or attempting to build a believable model railroad.
I really liked the section where there was a new trestle next to the abandoned alignment.
I bet you could find a local model railroader to work with, particularly if you have any facility with hand tools or soldering irons. And a bad day of model railroading beats a good day of office hours.
We also have an affiliation with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which, as far as I can tell, embodies the old understanding of the term (and may to some extent serve as a bulwark against the second, by having taken possession of the term at a reasonable number of institutions. Joining costs a bit of money, but, at least at my school, not as much as a single credit hour of regular tuition).