The active and dynamic process of acquiring skills and understandings which are needed for survival and well-being. At the individual level, learning improves the quality of life of the participant. At a broader social level, it has the potential to transform cultures, societies, politics and the world we live in. The most profound period of learning takes place in childhood where accelerated development of the brain takes place (researchers estimate that around 16 billion synaptic receptors per second are developing in the brains of children between 12 - 18 months of age). Tragically, the damaging effects of childhood trauma, stress, neglect and exposure to drugs and alcohol in the uterus are affecting the physical development of an alarming number of children. This has frightening implications, not only for the life prospects and outcomes of individuals but also for society as a whole. Learning is a cornerstone for participation in life at every level. It is what makes humans the most powerful and influential species on the planet. It is vital that lifelong learning be nurtured, respected and participated in by all.
Learning is as natural as breathing and is equally essential.