With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new era of scientific and technological advancement for humans began. This revolution paved the way for significant changes in the gap between mankind and technology, while also broadening the range of skills required by job candidates, including continuous learning, personal development, and technological mastery. Being a lifelong learner is the most effective approach for getting ready and creating such a sustainable competitive advantage in the context of an ever-changing world, especially after the emergence of the global pandemic Covid-19 lasting more than 3 years and when we are standing at a new crossroads in the process of human development, which is the Era of Society 5.0. As a result, every member of the SNA Marianapolis International School community embraces this mindset as their development orientation. 


1/ The Necessity of Becoming a Lifelong Learners

A few decades ago, simply graduating from a university program was sufficient for us to have the knowledge and skills we would need for a future career, but it’s not the same in the job market of today. Likewise, once-essential skills have fallen out of favor and aren’t as important in today’s economic climate. Being a lifelong learner is vital if you want to catch new career opportunities and stay strong in a highly competitive job market.  

“The concept of learning as a process that continues throughout life to address an individual’s learning needs. The term is used widely in adult education to refer to learning processes in many forms and at many levels.” – UNESCO 2006, Global Monitoring Report. Education for all: literacy for life 

Looking at the big picture of a typical educational path, we often notice that its culmination is the end of formal education. However, if you adopt another point of view, learning never ends there and is constantly present in different kinds of contexts throughout life, such as when we discuss in our jobs, read books and newspapers, go shopping, or even when we talk and confide with friends and family members, etc.  

Thanks to the great development of technology, learning is no longer limited to earning degrees, study time, or space. Books, online courses, professional development programs, etc. have never been more abundant or accessible, making it easier than ever to make a habit of lifelong learning at anytime and anywhere.  


2/ A Way of Life That Encourages Students to Nurture Good Qualities 

A lifelong learning mindset not only helps us in our careers but also strengthens and grows our character on an individual basis. Being a lifelong learner entails developing your own learning style. The learners themselves decide what to study, what skills to develop, and what experiences to gather—not their parents, teachers, or superiors. In other words, rather than passively receiving information, they will actively learn. Lifelong learners will be able to solve a wide range of problems with their broad knowledge base and their obtained abilities, as well as be able to successfully navigate a broad spectrum of obstacles in life. 

Moreover, educational autonomy gives students the freedom to pursue intellectual growth in ways that fit their unique learning preferences, keep learning away from being constrained and stereotyped, and instead fostering an environment that encourages imagination and creativity. 

And that’s precisely what’s going on in Mrs.Joanne Gökçeda’s class right now, a science teacher at SNA Marianapolis. Joanne’s class is quite different from typical classrooms since students take the lead in both teaching and learning, whereas traditional classes will be teacher-centered and teach students in a similar manner, molding learners into norms and standards. The fact that her students are granted most authority in the project allows them to practice leadership and collaboration among their group. At the same time, students become autonomous learners, synthesizing their knowledge, and presenting it in a way that shows they have understood it fully.   


3/ Mutual Benefits to Health 

As several studies have indicated, learning new things may reduce the chance of developing aging-related disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. According to the paper from 2010, UC Irvine neurobiologists were presenting the first visual evidence that “learning promotes brain health — and, therefore, that mental stimulation could limit the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind.” 

One of the New York Times bestsellers “Drive” by American author Daniel H. Pink claims that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the three intrinsic elements that contribute to feeling driven and content with life. All three of these psychological requirements can be fulfilled by pursuing lifelong learning, which makes one a source of good vibes, influence, and holding a unique charm to the sapiosexual. 


4/ An Intellectual Haven for Lifelong Learning Community 

In addition to implementing a student-centered teaching approach, SNA Marianapolis places a strong emphasis on creating an ideal learning environment that will support all members of the school’s learning community, including teachers, staff, and students, in becoming lifelong learners.  

The role of educators is of the utmost importance in inspiring students with their enthusiasm and mindset of a true lifelong learner in order to cultivate curiosity and encourage students to actively engage in their studies. An excellent example of a dedicated and enthusiastic lifelong learner is Mr. Emil Waldhauser, an international teacher at the school with more than 20 years of experience traveling, living, and teaching in many different countries.  

When asked what his favorite thing about his current teacher’s life is, he answers with joy, “I am learning something new, specifically new teaching approaches to fit the learning environment here.” He utilized the “Habits of Mind” as a set of useful tools to cultivate and encourage the attitude of diligence in students, keeping with the life and teaching philosophy he has always followed and swore by – “Remaining Open to Continuous Learning. I am a life-long learner. I would easily burn out working on the same thing over and over again.”  

As the great scientist Albert Einstein once said: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”, SNA Marianapolis has always believed that curiosity and a thirst for knowledge are among the key elements that lead to success because they provide students with the potential to push past their personal barriers, pursue their aspirations, and achieve challenging goals. 


SNA Marianapolis International School – Bien Hoa Campus


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