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Life-long education: why do we need it?

DOI 10.18127/j20700997-201902-07


E.V. Belovol –
Ph.D. (Psychol.), Professor, Department of Psychology of Personal Development, V.I. Lenin Moscow Pedagogical State University; Leader Research Scientist, Laboratory of Neurocognitive Communications, A.S. Pushkin State Institute of Russian (Moscow)
Z.V. Boyko –
Ph.D. (Psychol.), Associate Professor, Department of Management of Nursing Activities, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (Moscow)
I.V. Radysh –
Dr. Sc. (Med.), Professor, Аcademician REA, Head of the Department of Management of Nursing Activities, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (Moscow)
E.Yu. Shurupova –
Lecturer, Department of Psychology of Personality Development, V.I. Lenin Moscow Pedagogical State University

The influence of life-ling education on person’s cognitive functioning is considered in the article. Individual’s willingness and ability to learn and to adapt to the necessity of continuing education and acquisition of new skills in the period of adulthood is of great importance in the modern world. According to lifelong education concept, learning should become an integral part of life and learning should be constant throughout the life. Education should be started at the earliest possible age and continued throughout the life up to late adulthood. Educational continuity implies not only formal learning in specialized institutions including additional education but non-formal and informal learning as well. Modern approach to continuing education includes several tendencies: life-long learning, adult education and continuing vocational education and training. Life-long education is not only the continuing development of skills and knowledge throughout person's life. Life-long education contributes to social integration and personal development. Life-long education includes the whole range of different forms of education: formal, non-formal, informal. Life-long education is not only the way to ensure high level of person’s employability but is the best way of preserving person’s cognitive, social and emotional health. More experienced person demonstrates a greater level of psychological well-being, hi is less likely to be involved in criminal acts. Methods. Flexibility of cognitive control was used as a marker for cognitive integrity.  116 respondents aged 56-84 participated in the research. Participants have being learning from 8 to 36 years in their lives. Some of them have even four different educations. The study shows that there is no relationship between the age of the respondents and the duration of their learning, between age and flexibility of cognitive control. Results. The regression model was built to clarify the relationship between the duration of learning and cognitive control flexibility. The model is nonlinear and shows that those who have spent only a few years in formal education (up to 10) have pronounced rigidity of cognitive control. As the duration of the learning increases, the rigidity of cognitive control decreases and it becomes more flexible. After 18 years of studying cognitive control continues to be flexible, without a statistically significant trend towards further change. Statistically significant correlation between indices of cognitive flexibility and years of education has been obtained in the research. Conclusions. The conclusion that formal education with considerable years of education promotes cognitive well-being has been drawn. Life-long education makes it easy to adapt to challenges of modern world.  It allows us to save mind’s clarity and flexibility thus ensuring successful aging and cognitive integrity.

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