The Case for Lifelong Learning

hqdefault“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Alvin Toffler

When the talk turns to environmental education, it seems that the context is most often among the school-aged demographic. And rightly so, of course. It is critical that kids learn about the world they are going to inherit. But education can’t stop with 12th grade, or even with the college degree. In order to build and maintain an environmentally aware community, serious efforts need to be made toward engaging adults as well as children in a discussion about this place where we live and how each of us depends on our environment.

It’s not a message that most adults grew up with. The science wasn’t as well-traveled back then, we – those of us of a certain age – weren’t taught much about ecosystems or ecology in school. Much of what we have learned in these areas has been accumulated in recent decades and where the facts have come up against tradition and cultural norms, those who didn’t grow up with the facts can often have a harder time accepting them. The idea that our actions could have global implications seems almost like something out of science fiction.

Learn, unlearn and relearn. It’s a lifelong process and something worth thinking about as we look to the future and an environmentally informed watershed.

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