The Idea of Life-wide Learning Experiences

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Life-wide Learning (LWL) experiences are a whole-person development program for equipping students to face the fast-changing world in the 21st century.  Life-wide Learning is crucial as well as school-based learning that they are the keys to students’ success. Students can choose a wide range of activities based on their interests and strengths.  LWL experience can cover five aspects of development.

1. Aesthetic Development
This program is for cultivating students to understand and appreciate visual and performing arts.  The purpose of Aesthetic Development is helping students to understand the world is a creative way.  Students can also be able to develop the sensibility, empathy, creativity and abstract concepts by participating in the variety of arts programs.
The activities are related to three goals: appreciation, exploration, and practice.  In the first part, teachers will bring students to different art galleries, exhibitions, museums, and theatres, etc., for understanding and enjoy Arts.  For the second part, teachers will invite artists, such as dancers, actors, actresses, designers, architects, painters, calligraphers, sculptors, and novelists, etc., for sharing the real-life experiences of being the artists. For the third part, students will do the individual and group arts works, such as going out for sketching, writing the scripts, performing, organising the musical bands, and creating the 3D design products, etc.  
For the assessments, teachers will give students the freedom to design their learning paths based on their interests, such as asking them to write the reflection papers and doing the presentations after the activities.  Teachers will look at how students express their ideas and understanding the purpose of joining the events.  In practice, students will do the artworks, and each work will be assessed based on the criteria for generating the concepts, creativity, the development of ideas, collaboration, and presentation skills. 

2. Career-related Experiences (CRE)
Three programs will be covered, including STEM education, Information Technology (IT) enrichment program, and Career Pilot Program (CPP).  The purpose of CRE is giving students the understanding of the real world, knowing how to connect people via the internet, and having the innovative mindset of developing their careers in the future. STEM education is interdisciplinary in science, technology, engineering, and Mathematics; students are encouraged to have the curiosity to discover and develop new ideas.  IT enrichment programs can enhance students’ understanding of the information world that they are capable of information literacy (IL), innovative thinking skills, and self-learning.  CPP is giving students the ideas of different job duties and how to plan their future careers. 

In the STEM education, teaching theoretical knowledge and practical skills are equally important.  Students will be required to form groups with 4-5 people; they will be assigned different tasks by projects, such as egg-drop, bottle rocket, candy architecture, wind-power, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) projects, etc.  In the IT enrichment program, students will learn programming, coding and how to use IT ethnically, such as the prevention of cyberbullying and the protection of intellectual property, etc.  In CPP, students will visit the real workplaces, e.g., hospitals, law firms, financial centres and logistic organisations, etc.  Teachers will invite professionals in different working fields to introduce their career paths and the requirement of recruitment. 

In STEM education, students will be assessed based on the criteria of problem-solving skills, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, from creative ideas to execution, and the awareness of the sustainable development.  For IT enrichment program, teachers will assess students based on their understanding of how to use a computer and IT efficiency and ethnically.  For CPP, each student will need to do the presentation of lifelong planning, a role-play of a job interview, write an essay about self-discovery and curriculum vitae (CV).

3. Community Service
Caring people with heart is essential for building the harmony of human relationship, doing community services is a powerful way to develop students’ empathy, responsibility, and problem-solving skills.  Students will need to think creatively about any services they want to do; some may want to serve people, some perhaps want to help animals, some prefer to serve communities in urban, and others wish to serve communities in villages.  We appreciate the diversity of community services engagements.  Each student will think about the purpose of choosing a particular service, and they can do it individually, with teams, and with NGOs.  Teachers will assess students by their contribution of time, the numbers of people they have served and also the tasks of duties they have accomplished. Besides, teachers will ask students to write the reflection papers and peer-evaluations. 

4. Civic and Global Education
People in different nations connect with each other more often than before that it creates a sense of global citizenship.  Education should nurture students the understanding and critical thinking about global vs local issues and the relationship between them; awareness of the common of humanity, values, and responsibilities; and they can proactively change the world. Students will understand the history of the world by storytelling, the general ideas of western and eastern philosophers by watching videos, the roles of global citizenships by joining community services and learn different cultures by food, music and fashion appreciations, entering the festival events, and watching movies, etc.  The critical social and global issues will be taught by delivering presentations and organising debates.  Five dimensions will be evaluated: understanding the role of local and global citizenship, critical thinking of the issues they discuss or debate in the classes, the activity they have done for showing the responsibility of being the global citizenship, the awareness of cultural differences and the attitude of respect for others. 

5. Physical Development
The physical development could facilitate students the skills and knowledge in physical activity; giving students the freedom to choose would motivate them to have the lifelong sports engagement.  Each student has different strength and weakness.  Therefore, sport and physical activities can be divided into three levels.  In the first level, students can enjoy any kinds of sports activities they like in or outside of school campus.  In the second level, students want to participate in sports with skills that coaches will be engaged.  In the third level,  students with sophisticated skills will be trained to join the inter-school competitions.  Teachers will have different measurements of each level of sports activity.  For the first level, students will be given credits.  For the second level, students’ assessment will be measured by the improvement of skills and techniques; they will be given certificates for each achievement.  For the third level, students will be given awards by the internal assessments and public competitions. 

In conclusion, Life-wide Learning (LWL) experiences would prepare students to be life-long learners and good citizens with the healthy living habits.

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Header Picture by Markus Spiske on Unsplash