Edmonton City of Learners Initiative
City of Learners VideoCity of Learners Initiative Video
How and what we learn throughout our lives is critical not only to our individual success, but the success of our community as well. That’s the idea behind the Edmonton Learning Initiative, a partnership with fifteen area organizations that promotes life long learning. It’s also the reason why Edmonton was declared a City of Learners. Council’s Declaration
“We have outstanding learning opportunities in our city, but we need to help more people take advantage of them,” said Councillor Don Iveson, chair of the Edmonton Learning City Initiative. “When we all embrace learning in our daily lives, it enhances our role in the community, our performance in the workplace as well as our personal development and physical well-being.”
The initiative started two years ago when a group of learning sector partners came together to look at the opportunities in Edmonton and examine what was happening in other learning city projects around the globe. Other cities in Canada like Vancouver, Fredericton and Grande Prairie also have learning community initiatives which have contributed to enhanced livability, a key plank of Edmonton City Council’s vision.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) describes learning through four pillars:
Leaning to know – understanding how we learn
It involves the development of skills and knowledge needed to function in the world. These skills include literacy, numeracy, critical thinking and general knowledge.
Learning to do – emphasis on the knowledge component of tasks
It refers to the acquisition of applied skills that are often linked to occupational success, such as computer training, managerial training and apprenticeships.
Learning to live together – educate to avoid conflict or peacefully resolve it
It involves developing values of respect and concern for others, fostering social and inter-personal skills, and an appreciation of the diversity of Canadians.
Learning to be – the complete development of the mind body, intelligence and sensitivity
Skills in this area include personal discovery and creativity, and can be acquired through reading, use of the internet and activities such as sports and the arts.
Edmonton City of Learners Dialogue – Results
On June 8, 2010, we held a “Edmonton City of Learners Dialogue” which provided an opportunity for individuals and learning organizations to offer insights and advice on life-long learning.
2nd Edmonton City of Learners Dialogue (Feb 25 & Mar 1)
On February 25, and March 1, 2011, we held a “2nd Edmonton City of Learners Dialogue” to garner reactions to the proposed strategies and the draft Community Foundational-Learning Plan, and to seek guidance from stakeholders on how the initiative would best support its partners to achieve its goals.
Next Steps – Governance and Implementation
The Edmonton Learning City Initiative took on the responsibility for stimulating lifelong learning opportunities for Edmontonians, and to advance this vision, it has created the Community Foundational-Learning Plan.
This plan represents an effort by the Edmonton Learning City Initiative to engage and coordinate learning goals across groups and agencies in the city of Edmonton.
Governance and Implementation
Given the positive reception for the initiative and the enthusiasm for continued collaboration to move forward with the implementation of the strategies, a coalition-based governance framework is recommended.
As the initiative moves forward, the network of organizations and partners may, at their choosing, continue to be organized under the City of Learners banner, with the Edmonton Public Library serving as the ‘home’ of the coalition.
Edmonton Public Library’s recently approved five-year Strategic Plan dedicates one of its four pillars to supporting and enabling learning, and specifically commits to ‘Be the home of the City of Learners’. Supported by the community, the Edmonton City of Learners Initiative will continue to collaborate on emerging lifelong learning opportunities.
The Edmonton Learning City Initiative partners include:
- City of Edmonton
- Edmonton Catholic School Board
- Edmonton Public Library
- Edmonton Public School Board
- Junior Achievement
- MacEwan University
- NorQuest College
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
- Alberta Committee of Citizens With Disabilities
- Public Interest Alberta
- The Alberta Coalition for Healthy School
- The Book Publishers Association of Alberta
- The Centre for Family Literacy
- The Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association
- The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers
- The Seniors Action and Liaison Team
- University of Alberta
- Success By 6®
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