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Category: Education / Topics: Learning Optimal Aging

Lifelong Learning Never Stops

by David Noreen

Posted: July 10, 2015

Seize the opportunity for personal knowledge and growth…

It’s rather obvious that the title of this article is purposefully redundant!   Most of us engage in some form of continuing education everyday of our lives.  The only excuse seems to be the limitations of health or complete inactivity.  Surely, we are “born to learn”; an essential for growth.  (One of the terrible myths of aging suggests that at some point our brains cease to function, and we can no longer learn.  It’s a lie, don’t believe it!)

Learning happens when we really ‘ingest’ a helpful article or reading material which makes a meaningful contribution to personal knowledge and action.  We enroll in a Spanish class, attend a Marketing program or develop a skill because we want to learn more.  Signing up for a play, a concert or some other cultural event becomes more than entertainment or an appreciation for the arts.  Such activities feed an “internal drive” for personal growth.       

Many have found the computer to be a major resource for lifelong learning.   In its initial development, computer research articles were very expensive items.  Today, there are hundreds of sites offering free resources.  (WebMD adds to our knowledge of medical issues…A funny-sounding site, “” offers thousands of articles open to exploration in numerous categories....Some folks participate in genealogical research or other subjects…Friends in computer clubs share their most interesting websites.  Such examples, and so many more, figure significantly in the learning process.

But here’s a ready-made resource which ought to be ‘on top of everyone’s list’:  A resource to be found in many local libraries.  Beside several hundred books and films, one of the great resources comes from The Teaching Company, with offerings under the title, ldquo;The Great Courses”. In the library of our retirement community,  acquisitions began years ago with resident contributions.  (Sad to say, the series has been “underused”, perhaps due to location,… under “The Arts”, on the bottom back wall.)  The categories include music education, literature, religion and other “invitations to learn”.     

These courses are taught by leading professors in their fields, and their classes are most
convenient.. right in front of one’s DVD player and TV!   In our Media Center, the latest acquisitions include subjects as far-ranging as these:  

A Brief History of the World, with Dr Peter Stearns, George Mason University  
Museum Masterpieces:  The Louvre,  Dr. Richard Brettell, Univ. of Texas
Churchill,   with distinguished professor,  Dr. Rufus Fears, Univ. of Oklahoma
The Secrets of Mental Math, by Dr. Arthur Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College

You may ask your own library for subjects such as the following for adult learning. 
(Will these spark your interest for “further investigation”?  “Optimizing Brain Fitness”,  “Mysteries of the Microscopic World” and “The Story of the Bible”  Hope so!) 

There it is, lifelong learners!   “Seize the opportunity” for personal knowledge and growth!

Rev. David Noreen is retired, but remains active in senior ministry, especially in the area of stewardship. He served as Administrator of Christian Education for the Evangelical Covenant Church and before that as a pastor in the Midwest.

E-mail the author (moc.loa@neerond*)

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Posted: July 10, 2015   Accessed 617 times

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