Helping adults learn collaboratively is a crucial skill for a consultant. A learner-centred approach enables consultants to serve well by assessing basic training needs and designing appropriate learning solutions to address those needs.
Here are the top 5 resources suggested by CBC to help your mentees to grow in their adult education skills
1. Understanding the term ‘Adult Education’
The following two websites can help to review the main theories in the field of Andragogy:
- An overview of Andragogy by JoAnna Wahschal
- A summary from Instructionaldesign.org
Tip: Ask your mentees to explore these websites and debrief together about their learning and questions.
2. How does Adult Education apply to our work?
Jane Vella’s theories served as the foundation for the development of:
- Dialogue Education by Global Learning Partners
- Learning That Lasts training by SIL
- the useful book: Vella (2002) Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults.
Tip: Encourage your mentees to explore the resources mentioned here and identify concrete links between them and their work. Talk about how they can apply these principles in practical ways in their daily work.
3. Putting theory into practice
Bloom’s Taxonomy can be a helpful tool for designing learning events.
- What is Bloom’s Taxonomy? Find out here.
- Leslie Owen Wilson’s article on Bloom’s revised taxonomy
Tip: Ask your mentees to read these resources and discuss with them the relevance of Bloom’s revised taxonomy to designing learning events for adults. With your guidance and feedback, using either the Dialogue Education model or the Learning that Lasts model, ask your mentees to design a 5-day learning event that they could use in their work.
4. Exploring the influence of other factors in Adult Education
Exploring the main concepts of Hofstede’s dimensions of national culture can be a valuable way to help your mentees reflect on various factors that can have an impact on professional develoment. These dimensions include:
- Power Distance Index (PDI)
- Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV)
- Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS)
- Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)
- Long Term Orientation versus Short Term Normative Orientation (LTO)
- Indulgence versus Restraint (IND)
To find out more read this summary article. If you are interestedin seeing the data and compare different countries, explore this website.
Tip: Ask your mentees to complete the following activity.
Using a multicultural example from your own experience, compare your profile with that of another country profile. Based on that comparison, what issues would you predict would arise in a learning experience where: (a) you are the teacher and the learners are from the other country, and (b) the teacher is from the other country, and you are the learner.
5. The focus of Adult Education
Knowles wrote about adult education as “learner-centered”. Vella wrote about Dialogue as “learning-centered”.
It can be helpful to reflect on our own learning and teaching philosophy and engage with others on this topic in meaningful dialogue.
Tip: Help your mentees to articulate their philosophy of teaching and learning and ground it in relevant resources and experiences. A reflection question as conversation starter could be: How would the shift in focus from learner-centered to learning-centered change the approach to a learning event?
Further resources that might interest you
- Teaching and Learning Across Cultures by Craig Ott (Kindle edition)
- Teaching Across Cultures: A Global Christian Perspective by Perry Shaw et al. (Kindle edition)
- A 3-minute video that presents a summary of the principles of Andragogy
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