Motivating Students for Lifelong Learning

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

How to engage and maintain teenagers’ interest in school "work"?

Young children rarely lack curiosity, but as they enter the teenage years their appetite for learning often appears to shrink. Many eventually drop out before the end of compulsory schooling. Others continue to turn up for school but make the minimum effort. They are present in body, but not in mind.

Such problems are generally associated with Western countries but even Japan and Korea, two of the most academically successful Pacific Rim nations, are not immune. These figures take on new significance in an era when one of the essential survival tools for individuals -- and nations -- is a willingness to learn and re-learn.

What can governments and education systems do to inculcate the "zest for learning" that young people will need if they are to thrive in 21st-century post-industrial societies? This is one of the key questions which is addressed in this review of eight countries offering innovative schemes that appear to be developing the skills and attitudes necessary for lifelong learning.

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