Lifelong Learning as a Vital Condition
Lifelong Learning is about providing a good education for all that ensures all people, regardless of age, background, or ability, are set up for success, and have the opportunities to reach their full potential. It’s about an education that launches people into meaningful careers, with ongoing opportunities to learn and grow.
Education is an engine of social mobility with implications for health and well-being that extend across the entire lifetime. From birth, we are developing and learning. Supportive learning environments positively shape social and behavioral development and set children on a path that maximizes their capacity to learn, and positively shapes their social and behavioral development. A solid preK-12 education launches young people into productive futures wherein they may pursue higher education, trades, or ongoing and community-based education, and advance their lives and livelihoods through the power of learning. Education is also an engine of social mobility. Higher levels of education are linked with more income, better health, and increased opportunities. Conversely, disparities in access to education and educational attainment persist, and can be perpetuated across generations.
This new report is a joint project of the CDC Foundation and Well Being Trust, coordinated with Community Initiatives and ReThink Health. The report acknowledges that we are now struggling and suffering through profound losses and ghastly experiences of systemic racism. Our resilience and humanity are being tested, yet we have the power to change course together. Communities across the country have an immense reservoir of energy, courage, and imagination. Our best hope for changing course is to organize local and national action around a single, unifying, measurable expectation: All people and places thriving—no exceptions. The report leverages the Vital Conditions for Well-Being framework to provide a "springboard" for communities in recovery and resilience that is imperative to this moment in time. Find the full report and the library of resources and tools coming out of collaborative work to developThriving Together below, and scroll on for more resources to improve lifelong learning in your community.
Below is an audio excerpt from a series of interviews to collect lived experience, community voices, and critical perspectives to inform content and direction in the Springboard report and touches on lifelong learning, specifically.
Opportunities to Improve Lifelong Learning
Some of the most significant opportunities are:
- Advancing learning opportunities in early childhood
- Connecting young people with opportunities for their futures, including quality public education
- Investing in adult education and job training programs
Stories for Inspiration
Explore the stories below to read interesting, engaging content about what is happening at the state, national, and local level to improve lifelong learning.
Explore the data tools below to find data and related resources specifically relevant to lifelong learning.
Explore the resources below that outline one or more policies that specifically seek to improve lifelong learning.
About the Vital Conditions
Lifelong Learning is one of seven “Vital Conditions” that comprise the Vital Conditions for Health and Well-being framework. This is a useful framework for conceptualizing holistic well-being and the Conditions that give rise to it, as well as identifying opportunities to shift those systems and drive transformative community change and improvement. It brings together major determinants of health, exposing how parts of a multi-faceted whole work as a system to produce equitable well-being. Learn more about the framework: