Question: Examine about the Adult Literacy Programs in the Maldives. Answer: Contextual analysis: Adult Literacy Programs in the Ma...
Friday, July 19, 2019
Teaching Adults: Is it different? :: Education School Essays
Teaching Adults: Is it different? The adult education literature generally supports the idea that teaching adults should be approached in a different way than teaching children and adolescents. The assumption that teachers of adults should use a different style of teaching is based on the widely espoused theory of andragogy, which suggests that "adults expect learner-centered settings where they can set their own goals and organize their own learning around their present life needs" (Donaldson, Flannery, and Ross-Gordon 1993, p. 148). However, even in the field of adult education, debate occurs about the efficacy of a separate approach for teaching adults. Some believe that adult education is essentially the same process as education generally (Garrison 1994) and therefore does not require a separate teaching approach: that is, all good teaching, whether for adults or children, should be responsive in nature. The question of whether teaching adults is different remains ambiguous. For example, research summarized in an ERIC Digest(Imel 1989) has shown that even those educators who say they believe in using an andragogical approach do not necessarily use a different style when teaching adults. Additional myths and realities related to teaching adults are explored in this publication. Two areas are examined: types of adult learning and what learners themselves want from teachers. Different Types of Adult Learning One way to approach the question of whether teaching adults is different is by examining the types of learning in which adults engage. Drawing upon the work of Habermas and Mezirow, Cranton (1994) classified adult learning into three categories: Subject-oriented adult learning-In adult learning contexts that are subject oriented, the primary goal is to acquire content. The educator "speaks of covering the material, and the learners see themselves as gaining knowledge or skills" (ibid., p. 10). Consumer-oriented adult learning-The goal of consumer-oriented learning is to fulfill the expressed needs of learners. Learners set their learning goals, identify objectives, select relevant resources, and so forth. The educator acts as a facilitator or resource person, "and does not engage in challenging or questioning what learners say about their needs" (ibid., p. 12). Emancipatory adult learning-The goal of emancipatory learning is to free learners from the forces that limit their options and control over their lives, forces that they have taken for granted or seen as beyond their control. Emancipatory learning results in transformations of learner perspectives through critical reflection (Mezirow 1991). The educator plays an active role in fostering critical reflection by challenging learners to consider why they hold certain assumptions, values, and beliefs (Cranton 1994).