Four key pillars of Lifelong Learning<br />(Barbara St uble, Curtin University of Technology, Australia)
lifelong learning is understood as a cyclical process with four key pillars: e-portfolios can support them all.
"Knowing the learner (Self awareness)" focuses on understanding the learner's prior knowledge, motivation for and attitudes towards learning. A portfolio can serve as a mirror, helping a learner understand themselves and see their growth over time.
"Planning for learning (Self management)" refers to the setting of goals and the development of a plan to achieve these goals. A portfolio can serve as a map for future learning.
"Understanding how to learn (Meta-learning)" describes the awareness that a learner has developed with respect to different approaches to learning (deep versus surface learning; rote versus meaningful learning) and different learning styles.
"Evaluating learning (Self monitoring)" refers to a systematic analysis of all aspects of the learner's performance. "Self monitoring is synonymous with responsibility to construct meaning ... [and] is very much associated with the ability to be reflective and think critically"
While the above pillars are of importance in any effective teaching and learning process, the main characteristic of lifelong learning is the reflective nature of the entire cycle. A portfolio provides the best environment for that reflection.