The Adult Learner Theory and Method
Run by School of Educational Sciences
30.000 Credits or 15.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Mr Gwilym ap Gruffudd
Overall aims and purpose
This module is a 30 credit module, primarily designed for those involved in the delivery, organisation and evaluation of adult learning in any setting, and will seek to provide lecturers, teachers, leaders, managers and administrators with the necessary knowledge and skills to reflect on their own practice. It will be of particular interest to those who work as teachers or organisers in higher, adult or community education or training. Those pursuing a research interest in contemporary trans/multinational Higher Education in terms of teaching methods, assessments, cultural and corporate aspects within education may also engage well with this module.
The module will allow students to share with others their particular experiences of learning and working. Taught sessions will focus on the practical aspects of pedagogical andragogy of adult learning (underpinned by theory) as they relate to pragmatism of teaching adults, motivating adults to learn, adults in group learning settings, issues of assessment, and equal opportunities in the adult education classroom.
Sessions early in the course will concentrate on introducing students to issues of both theory and method. Theoretical areas covered will include the nature of adult learning, a critical evaluation of the pedagogies of adult learning, access and participation in adult education, and equal opportunities. A part of the course will involve students carrying out action research in an area of adult or community-based learning such as curriculum design, teaching and learning methods, and supporting students. In early sessions students will be introduced to the principles and practice of action research and, in collaboration with other students and tutors, asked to produce an action plan for their own research, to be carried out individually or in groups.
Face to Face delivery
Session 1 Overview of module. Introduction to key theories and debates: Towards an educational psychology of the older adult learner: Intellectual and cognitive bases.
Session 2 Retention Revisited: Contributory factors in non-completers in FE&HE. Expectations, reality, past educational experiences, practical concerns and social integration.
Session 3 Research exercise – Systematic Training Design Global Characteristics of Adult Learners (age, experience, history), motivation and organisational climate, knowledge transfer into practice. Myth of Gerontology
Session 4 "Electronic Distance Education Andragogy of self directed learning (Heutagogy)"
Session 5 "Career pathways and trajectory of late adult learners. Rethinking Universities: The Social Functions of Higher Education Aspects of the Contemporary Higher Educational System as Intended and Constructed.
Assignment & Tutorial Support"
60-69%, Merit: Shows significant insight, offers sustained and relevant analysis, well researched and referenced and written with a clear structure and style.
50%, Pass: Some consideration given to planning and structure, limited in depth of analysis and use of research, but demonstrating some understanding of the subject matter.
50-59%, Pass: Clear evidence of planning leading to a good structure, sound understanding of theories and analysis, and good use of research supported by appropriate evidence.
70-84%, Distinction: Demonstrates excellence in power of analysis, argument, originality, range of research, organisation and stylistic quality.
85-100%, Distinction: Outstanding work which demonstrates exceptional scholarship and is worthy of publication, or instrumental in developing professional practice.
Demonstrate a critical awareness of theoretical underpinnings of practical approaches relating to your own and others’ action research projects and how these may impact on your own professional practice in particular and communities in general.
Critically appraise, analyse and synthesise a range of key theoretical perspectives and debates framing adult learning and adult education.
Demonstrate a critically informed understanding and knowledge of contemporary debates within the field of both pedagogy and andragogy.
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of practical action research in relation to your own teaching and learning environment and that of others.
|Practical Action Research||50.00|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Lectures covering all the learning outcomes with students
Group and/or individual tutorials discussing the learning outcomes and exploring possible/suitable areas of research for the 2nd assignment in particular (including ethics approval)
The workshops will explore theoretical perspectives of the identified learning outcomes.
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- Show originality in the application of subject specific knowledge and understanding.
- Adapt and transfer ideas from one educational context to another.
- Identify problems, evaluate solutions and critique research associated with educational practice.
- Acquire and analyse data in an educational context.
- Adopt an ethically sound approach to research with children and vulnerable adults.
Jarvis, P., (4th edition, 2004), Adult & Continuing Education, Theory & Practice, Routledge
Kerka, Sandra 1995 Adult Learner Retention Revisited Eric Digest no 166 C. Wynn Wilkes & Byron R. Burnham, Adult learner motivations and electronic distance education, American Journal of Distance Education, Volume 5, Issue 1, 1991 Baker, S. and Brown, B. 2007 Rethinking Universities: The social Functions of Higher Education Knowles, M.S., (1990) The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species, Gulf Publishing Company Knowles, M.S., Holton, E.F., Swanson, R.A. (2012) The Adult Leaner, Routledge Fogarty, R.J., Pete, B.M., (2004) The Adult Learner: Some things we know, Sage Publication Smith, M.C., Pourchort, T. (2013) Adult Learning and Development: Perspectives From Educational Psychology, Routledge Merriam, B. M., Caffarella. R.S., Baumgartner, L.M., (2012) Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide, John Wiley & Sons Merriam, S.B., Brockett, R.G. (2011) The Profession and Practice of Adult Education: An Introduction, John Wiley & Sons Merriam, S.B.,(2011) Third Update on Adult Learning Theory: New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, Number 119, John Wiley & Sons Merriam, B.S., Courtenay, B.C., Cervero, R.M., (2006) Global issues and adult education: perspectives from Latin America, Southern Africa, and the United States, Jossey-Bass Sheared,V., Sissel, P.A., (2001) Making Space: Merging Theory and Practice in Adult Education, Greenwood Publishing Group, Cervero, R.M., Wilson, A.L., (2001) Power in Practice: Adult Education and the Struggle for Knowledge and Power in Society, John Wiley & Sons Rosemary S. Caffarella, Sandra Ratcliff Saffron (2013) Planning Programs for Adult Learners: A Practical Guide, John Wiley & Sons Calder, J., (2004) Disaffection And Diversity: Overcoming Barriers For Adult Learners, Routledge Tummons, J., (2011) Assessing Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Sage Curzon, L.B., Tummons, J., (2013) Teaching in Further Education: An Outline of Principles and Practice, A&C Black Avis, J., Fisher, R., & Thompson. R., (2014) Teaching in Lifelong Learning: A Guide to Theory and Practice, McGraw-Hill Education Ingle,S., Duckworth,V. (2013) Teaching and Training Vocational Learners, Learning Matters Derrick, J., (2010) Remaking Adult Learning: Essays on Adult Education in Honour of Alan Tuckett, Institute of Education, University of London, 2010 Groen, G., Kawalilak, C., (2014) Pathways of Adult Learning: Professional and Educational Narratives, Canadian Scholars’s Press Inc
Reed, S, C., & Marienau, C. (2008) Linking adults with community: promoting civic engagement through community based learning, Jossey-Bass
Useful web links for Action Research: Engaging with Educational Research http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=406964 Action research for professional development, Concise advice for new action researchers Jean McNiff http://www.jeanmcniff.com/ar-booklet.asp
Beginners guide to Action Research http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/arp/guide.html This article explores the development of some different traditions of action research and provides an introductory guide to the literature. http://www.infed.org/research/b-actres.htm This is a useful guide written by Dr. Stephen Water-Adams, University of Plymouth 2006 http://www.edu.plymouth.ac.uk/resined/actionresearcharhome.htm