Preparing Students for Lifelong Learning: A Review of Instructional Features and Teaching Methodologies

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Lifelong learning is intentional learning that people engage in throughout their lives for personal and professional fulfillment and to improve the quality of their lives. In today's climate of continual change and innovation, lifelong learning is a critical educational goal. In order to prepare people for lifelong learning, educational opportunities must develop their capacity for self-direction, metacognitive awareness, and disposition toward lifelong learning. Several instructional features facilitate the development of metacognitive and self-directed learning skills, and the disposition to lifelong learning: (1) student autonomy, responsibility, and intentionality; (2) intrinsically motivating learning activities; (3) enculturation; (4) discourse and collaboration among learners; and (5) reflection. This article describes and presents examples of how three teaching methodologies—problem-based learning, intentional learning environments, and cognitive apprenticeship—employ these instructional features.