Skills Are the Answer to Lifelong Learning

Tuesday, 03 November 2020 764 Views

Many of us understand lifelong learning is an integral part of our personal happiness. Most workers acknowledge it is a requirement for their career. Through the years (starting in 2011), I made steady contributions in working in skills as a medium to express learning expectations and job requirements.

This is a recent press release of my work:

This is why I propose using skills to define lifelong learning:

Bridges learning expectations vertically across education, higher education, and career stages. My proposal is to define all learning (and job requirements) into skills, their methods and application, and achievements in a scientific way. The best analogy is to map skills and Skill Points ® to learning like we map atoms and coefficients to substances.

Create frameworks that work laterally across subjects and disciplines. By working in the medium of skills, we create frameworks that work in all areas of learning. The benefit is finding similarities and differences in how skills are applied in different subjects and situations. Again, use the analogy of chemistry. (In the learning labels system, this subtle difference is captured in searching on skills and skill levels rather than a subject matter.)

Create nimbler, more efficient learning programs. Learners need to pivot between skill pathways rather than two- and four-year degrees. Shelf life of forty-five percent of skills is less than five years. Workers are expected to constantly re- and up-skill to remain relevant, so programs should be created to target these skills precisely.

Effective way to apply education and training standards. Standards (Common Core, NGSS, ISTE, etc.) reference skills and methods. To effectively apply these standards, explicitly assign them to skills in learning tasks and experiences (like the Skills Label).

Tracking soft and thinking skills across all learning experiences. It is worth tracking and managing these skills, particularly when they are not the focal or primary skill being targeted in an experience. If skills are properly mapped to the learning and there are assessments, then we can track all the skills applied in tasks, experience, and projects.

Match learning expectations with job requirements. Job requirements include a list of skills. A LinkedIn profile includes a section of skills with endorsements. Learning should be expressed in skills matching these representations. Furthermore, using Skill Points ®, to accurately quantify levels of achievement and experience with the skills. This is what is accomplished in the Skills Label TM system.