lifelong learning NACED

Celebrating Lifelong Learning

Not surprisingly, we’re big fans of a lifelong learning plan here at!

As someone who completed most of my third-level qualifications as a mature student, I firmly believe in ongoing adult education and training.

So, it’s been a pleasure to be asked by the National Association of Community School Adult Education Directors – a mouthful, I know! – to write articles celebrating lifelong learning on their website,

lifelong learning
(c) Deirdre O’Flynn. 2018.

We’ve spoken to tutors of nightclasses from pickleball to patchwork and psychology. We’ve also highlighted the benefits of lifelong learning, which include boosting how people engage in their own democracy by learning how to think critically. In one instance, a night class in politics explores the question of who makes the decisions in society and the crossover between politics and social issues.

Social Capital

This range of classes – literally from pickleball to politics, from metalwork to managing childhood anxiety – are vital in increasing the social capital of our communities. And, a community that is better able to understand, question, and debate issues is vital for our wellbeing as a society.

On an individual level, adult education and lifelong learning also help people to change career, explore a passion, and find others who share their interests. Night classes also help people to mix with those older or younger than themselves. They reduce isolation, and boost mental and physical wellbeing.

Two hats: tutor and student

At SpellCheck, I’ve been a tutor as well as a student! I’ve tutored adults in creative writing, public relations, communications, Business English, teamwork, committee skills, social media, and customer service. I love this work. And I love sharing my passion and exchanging my knowledge with others in a setting respectful of everyone’s abilities and skills.

A lifelong learning plan is about boosting your own capacity, becoming empowered to find and use your own voice. It’s about living your own truth whether at home, or at work, or in your community. What’s not to love!

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