Influence Of Culture In Adult Learning

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Culture and Context: Theory and Practice
Merriam and Bierema (2014) stated, “Adult learning is a journey” (p.238). Within that journey culture and context affect learning and our globalizing world. Culture can be simply defined by the shared practices, values, and beliefs that are passed on and taught as the correct way to act and think. Culture deeply influences a vast amount of groups from regions to organizations and classroom environments (Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p. 239). Culture has an effect on both formal and informal practices. Throughout adult education, culture is examined from several perspectives including one’s position, privilege, context, and power.
Positionality is an attribute that is obvious or relates to age, gender, race, ableness, language, and so on (Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p. 240). For example, if one were to look up a list of the top 100 authors of all time, they would not see
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Answering the question of whether one is privileged or not is a difficult assessment to make. For instance if “you are white, male, able-bodied, heterosexual, or possess wealth,” determining that power is not as evident as if you were in the opposite end of the spectrum (Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p. 240). The topics of position as well as privilege are often discussed in diversity trainings in the workplace. Having the skills to be able to talk about these issues freely are crucial to educators and adult learners in our society today due to the control of the education system. In both Mexico and the United States, one’s privilege allows them the position in society to address the “issue of educational opportunity” (Keane, 1994). Many times, in these types of societies it has been shown that privilege can overcome certain attributes and skills, such as intellect, to determine position and/or
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