Forum: Simply transferring knowledge is not enough for lifelong learning

Mr Ng Weng Keong's assertions in his letter, "Adopt lifelong learning, as all knowledge acquired is valuable" (Sept 8), are true.

However, he oversimplifies learning as "the transfer of knowledge followed by a behaviour change".

He said that many adults often blame a lack of time for not adopting lifelong learning. Herein is the critical missing step: Many don't know how to learn.

Lifelong learning is on-the-go learning that any person does all the time through observation or reading. Key to this process is understanding, by asking all sorts of questions regarding a piece of knowledge.

Singaporeans are poor learners, as our culture does not generally encourage asking questions due to a fear of showing one's ignorance.

Learning is more than a transfer of knowledge. Behaviour change is possible only when understanding leads to application.

Let us focus on teaching people how to learn, especially by asking a lot of questions.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

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