The learning process involves an active participation of the learners and the community concerned. Adult education is essential to adult students in class and other adults in training projects, universities, colleges, organizations, industries, and business organizations. It is indispensable to provide a guide for adult education. Learning is a part of human experience, and it is inseparable from human daily activities (Lave, 1964). Therefore, it is essential to understand how adults’ learning helps each individual to widen one’s opportunities after comprehending how does human brain function. Human beings have a perceived assumption that learning has a beginning and an end. However, this is not the case. Learning is a continuous process, which starts from birth and ends when an individual dies. Lave (1993) supports this statement by claiming, “Learning is popular in continuous action, though often unacknowledged as such.” Adult education is a community practice, which involves a process of engagement. MacKeracher Dorothy, a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick, wrote a well-documented book with detailed learning the process of acquiring knowledge through experience, study, and instructions (MacKeracher, 2004).
There are several styles of learning. However, an effective learning style should go beyond doing and reading. Experimental learning, for instance, can be very effective when applied alongside other styles. In the contrary, it can be counterproductive when applied alone. Essentially, all styles of learning are more effective with active participation. Wenger (1999) clarifies active participation recommended for effective learning by saying: “Participation here refers not just to local events of engagement in certain activities with certain people, but to a more encompassing process of being active participants in the practices of social communities and constructing identities in relation to these communities.” According to this revelation, new learners do not have to learn from talks as teachers and tutors dictate. Instead, the learners should learn how to talk as a justifiable peripheral participation. This brings the need to comprehend learning and knowledge in context. Learners can hardly see the sense of general, abstract, and non-contextualized knowledge and learning.
There are several models used in adult education. Application of these models depends on various factors in the community concerned. The apprenticeship model and the Kolt’s model have been used in various organizations as they concerned a way of critical analyze the benefits that education will result. The two models, the apprenticeship model and the Kolt’s model, require the adoption of collaborative learning. Collaborative learning means that people have to work together to gain knowledge. This means that we do not only change what we do, but also “how we interpret what we do” (Wenger, 1999). Additionally, it is impossible for the collaborators to gain knowledge on their own. This calls the collaboration with others to facilitate learning. For instance, if two or more authors join to write a book, the book would be a result of joined efforts or collaboration (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2010). Typically, a book written by two authors is presumed more informative and comprehensive than one written by a single author. When learners are in a learning group, knowledge moves from one individual to another, from group to individual and from individual to group. This way, all the learners end up with new knowledge, which could have proven unachievable to each individual on their own. Members in a learning group have a defined goal of accessing new information they did not know. Since they are adults, their learning process is not the same as that of young innocent children. Adults have some erudition, and the learning process adds knowledge to the experience they already have (Randy, 2009).
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There are three main methods to administerate adults’ education. The first widely used method is transmission-reception. In this case, teachers select knowledge they consider appropriate for the students and communicate the knowledge to the students. This method requires students to accept the given knowledge “as it is”. The teacher also controls the style and mode of delivering the knowledge. This concept gives no room for students to take control of learning activities. The learner is also expected to accept the pace set by the teacher, since the assessment will not consider whether the relationship was fair or not fair (MacKeracher, 2004). In 1999, Wenger claimed that practices given after such inductions are not fair. He justified his claim by stating: “The concept of practice connotes doing, but not just doing in and of itself. It is doing in a historical and social context that gives structure and meaning to what we do” (Wenger, 1999).
The other method of administering adults’ education is transmission and sharing. This method requires the teacher to transmit information to learners, and the learners share it amongst themselves or even with the teacher. As the information is transmitted from the teacher to the learners, and the learners back to the teacher, new knowledge is gained. It is important that a relationship develops between the teacher and the learners, and among the learners. This method permits free flow of information from teachers to students and vice versa. Traditionally, group discussions are core to this method’s success. Compared to the first method, learners gain more knowledge with this approach.
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The last method of administering adult education is the common group discussion method. Here, teachers share their information and knowledge in group discussions as other learners participate. This method includes lerner – lerner interaction, as the learners do not accept the teachers as special persons, as they doin the other methods (Armstrong and Peters, 1998).
In conclusion, learning process is a compulsory part of human daily experience. Learning transforms how we behave and think. Learning helps us to become what we want, behaviorally and psychologically. There are many styles of adult learning. However, emphasis should be put on the ability of any style to make individuals become what they want, and not focus on accumulating skills and information only.
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