In order to build any solid structure, a good foundation is required. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a foundation is “an underlying base or support, especially the whole substructure of a building, a body or ground upon which something is built” (www.m-w.com). Foundations must be durable to support the structure that is built above. For this reason, the Foundations of Adult Education course delves into various philosophical approaches to adult education and learning. Investigation of behavior theories helps the adult education instructor or trainer develop his or her approach to methods of instruction. In this foundational course on adult education, it is important to discuss the definition of what exactly is meant by ‘adult education’ as well as its purpose and how that has changed throughout its history.
Before we look into the term ’adult education’ and what exactly that means, it important to reflect on your connection and interest in the field of adult education. Why are you studying this course? What does ‘adult education’ mean to you? The definition of ‘adult education’ is not clear and concise and seems to change with time and location. Continuing education for faculty and staff can be considered adult education. A job skills training program or corporate training sessions for management can, also, be considered adult education. On the other hand, a community yoga class could be considered adult education to some. What seems to be the common thread throughout all the mentioned activities? All are organized activities, classes or training seminars, involving adults being trained or taught.
Since the founding of America, the pursuit of reli...
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...tion from the 1970s to the 1990s, its concept is as old as the hills. Self-directed learning refers to "a process in which an individual takes the initiative, with or without the help of others," to determine one’s learning needs, create learning goals, find resources for learning, implement strategies, and evaluate outcomes (Knowles, 1975). An estimated 70 percent of adult learning is self-directed learning (Cross 1981).
Adult education is intentional, purposeful, and organized. It involves a planned class/training session or series of systematic classes/training sessions intended to spawn learning. The immediate goal is to change or increase the student’s knowledge or ability. In adult education, the teacher/trainer is to provide new information to the student in an organized format in such a way that learning of the new skills and/or knowledge can occur.
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