An Intellectual Discourse

Kolej Universiti Islam Sultan Azlan Shah (KUISAS) Kuala Kangsar, in collaboration with Institut Darul Ridzuan (IDR), organised an intellectual discourse at the former’s auditorium recently entitled, ‘Lifelong Learning Core to Creating a Knowledge Society’.

The day-long session featured Professor Rosemary Caffarella and Professor Edward Caffarella from Cornell University and the State University of New York College, respectively. Moderating the discussion was Dr Mazalan Kamis, the Chief Executive Officer of IDR.

Over 200 participants, consisting mainly of students from the university college and from MARA University of Technology, Seri Iskandar were in attendance.

In his welcoming remarks, the Rector of the university college, Tan Sri Dr Nordin Kardi, welcomed the academicians and the participants, provided a brief introduction on KUISAS and thanked IDR for making the programme possible.

Clad in a beautiful shade of maroon, Professor Rosemary Caffarella enlightened the audience on the definition of lifelong-learning and the four essential areas of the concept namely, Experiential Learning (learning through experience), Transformational Learning (learning through the questioning of basic perspectives), Cultural Differences and Building Relationships. To begin with, lifelong learning was defined as “the use of formal and informal learning throughout people’s lives in order to live in an ever changing world”.

Professor Edward Caffarella captured the audience’s attention by making an interesting analogy between his topic, ‘Learning and Change’ and the Dvorak keyboard developed in 1936. He raised the issue of how learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change and yet people resist change. Similar to how we prefer to use the Qwerty keyboard which has stood the test of time instead of the better Dvorak keyboard which is capable of increasing the typing speed and reducing typing-related injuries.

The mind-broadening discussion was followed by a lively question-and-answer session. The programme ended at 1.15pm with the closing remarks from Dr Mazalan Kamis and the presentation of honorarium to the two guest speakers.

Tan Mei Kuan

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