Community learning addresses the socio-economic outcomes of community members through a long-term, life-long education program. This includes strengthening skills and knowledge of community members, by addressing shifting employment needs as the economy changes; strengthening social cohesion; and improving quality of life and general fulfilment of individuals, families and local groups.
Community learning targets different life stages and groups, such as early schooling, school years, youth, and adults, providing guidance, leadership, encouragement and support to community members to increase their daily learning needs, as well as their life-long educational requirements.
Activities range from encouraging bilingualism during early schooling to maximise the knowledge and skills of diverse communities; supporting provision and access to kindergarten enrolments; providing extra-curricular educational programs and learning clubs; linking with the educational sector, including TAFE, to improve education-to-work transition for youth; improving adult education programs and addressing later life learning needs of senior residents.
Community learning strategies present a policy and service-delivery framework to improve community collaborations and partnerships, in support of the educational, work and life needs of our community. It facilitating access and participation in culturally relevant learning, and increasing participation in education and skills programs to create new employment opportunities to residents.
Local councils can support community learning through:
- provision of a range of face-to-face literacy and learning programs;
- online materials;
- collaboration with schools, universities and other organisations to meet the educational and socio-economic outcomes of the community.