• The Importance of Life-Long Learning

  • Published October 19th 2015
    by Bill Leedham, QP, CESA

    One of the many things I enjoy about teaching AESAC training courses is that I always learn something new each time - yes, even an old dog like me can acquire new tricks. This got me thinking about the importance of life-long learning. As science fiction author Isaac Asimov stated “Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” Whether for personal or professional reasons; the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge is a fascinating and important task that can too often be neglected in our busy lives.

    According to the University of Colorado’s Centre for Lifelong Learning and Design, scientific and technological innovation over the last fifty years has had a profound effect on learning needs and styles, and learning can no longer be divided into a place and time to acquire knowledge (school) and one to apply the knowledge acquired (the workplace). Albert Einstein wryly noted “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Keeping current with new trends and technologies is also vital to environmental consulting; and participation in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a requirement of many Professional Associations. CPD can include formal education, training seminars, professional practice, presentations or other contributions to knowledge. Licensed practitioners have an obligation to themselves, their organizations and the general public to not only maintain, but to broaden and improve their skills and knowledge.

    The value of life-long learning is perhaps best summed up by college basketball coach John Wooden: “It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.” I strongly encourage everyone to expand your horizons and participate in life-long learning and training. Whether you are at the start of your career or well advanced, you are never too young or too old to keep learning. Think seriously about signing up for that training course you have been putting off; attending a technical presentation; or participating in a webinar. Continual education strengthens our capabilities, adds real value to our client services, and generally enriches society.