Promoting effective teaching and learning in adult education: a model-based approach

David Addae
2016 Turkish Journal of Education  
This paper presents a model for promoting effective teaching and learning in adult education. The model, a combination of both teacher-centered and learner-centered approaches to teaching, is premised on the belief that adult learners are different in many respects from young learners. As such, the approaches, methods, and techniques employed in the teaching and learning encounter should differ significantly from those that have traditionally been used for young learners. The model gives a
more » ... model gives a prescription of how the various aspects of the teaching and learning encounter should be undertaken. The thesis of this paper is that effective teaching and learning in adult education is a dialogic process where both the teacher and learners are equally involved in a series of decision-making and activities geared towards helping the latter to construct meaning for themselves. Keywords Model, teaching, learning, assessment, feedback ADDAE; Promoting effective teaching and learning in adult education: a model-based approach 185 Turkish Journal of EducationTURJE 2016 Volume 5, Issue 4www.turje.org EXTENDED SUMMARY Teaching adult learners is a difficult activity, especially because adult learners come to the learning situation with a myriad of characteristics, which set them apart from traditional (young) learners (Knowles, 1980) . Adult learners, due to their chronological age, possess a considerable wealth of experiences, which when well harnessed can become an asset in the teaching and learning encounter. Again, adult learners are more likely to take responsibility for their own learning than young learners (Knowles, 1980) . Given these assumptions, in teaching adult learners the educator is faced with many questions, paramount among them is how best to promote effective learning amongst adult learners. This is reechoed by Fry, Ketteridge and Marshall (2009:24) when they state that "what is important about teaching is what it helps the learner to do, know or understand". "From the literature on teachers of adults and their strategies, we know that it is not unusual to consider general pedagogical and didactical approaches for adult learners" (Larsen, 2012:2). As a result, many theories have been propounded to explain how best to promote learning amongst adults. For instance, Knowles' (1980) theory of andragogy focused on the various characteristics of adult learning and based on such characteristics deduced some principles for adult learning. However, the theory fails to give details on how to practically teach adult learners. Also, other theories such as Brockett and Hiemstra's (1991) personal orientation model, McClusky's (1963) theory of margin, Illeris' (2002) three dimensions of learning model and Jarvis' (1987) learning process model have sought to shed light on adult learning. However, these theories have largely failed to explain how educators can effectively teach adult learners. İt can be argued that, adult learners require learning environments, which promote their active involvement in the entire teaching and learning the encounter. By encouraging dialogue, reflection, and learner autonomy in the classroom, the educator is able to help adult learners to construct meaning from a wide variety of events or information presented to them. The purpose of this paper is to present a model-based approach to teaching adult learners. The model, a combination of both teacher-centered and learner-centered approaches to teaching, is premised on the belief that adult learners are different in many respects from young learners. As a result, the approaches, methods, and techniques employed in the teaching and learning encounter should differ significantly from those that are traditionally used for young learners. The proposed model, even though in its developmental stages, is seen by the author as an innovative approach to promoting effective teaching and learning amongst adult learners. It encourages the equal involvement of the educator and adult learner in the teaching and learning process. This ultimately serves as a motivation for adult learners in their learning. The model gives a prescription of how the various aspects of the teaching and learning encounter should be undertaken. The thesis of this paper is that effective teaching and learning in adult education is a dialogic process where both the teacher and learners are equally involved in a series of decision-making and activities geared towards helping the latter to construct meaning for themselves. Several guidelines are provided to enable adult education practitioners in particular and teachers in general to understand the steps to take in the teaching and learning encounter. İt is the belief of the author that this model can be used not only in adult education programmes, but can also be employed in promoting effective learning for learners at all levels of the education sector. The model is divided into many sub-sections -assumptions, graphical representation, principles of the model and the guidelines for the effective implementation of the model. Based on the constructivist view of learning, the model posits that adult learning should empower adult learners to construct meaning for themselves from a wide range of information and events. The educator should serve as a guide in this process. Assessment, which is also discussed in this paper is a process employed by the educator to judge learners' comprehension of the subject matter and affords learners the opportunity to reflect on their learning. Therefore, assessment, as suggested in this paper, should be instructive and diagnostic in nature and must help the educator to identify aspects of the content that learners fail to understand and armed with such information revise teaching approaches, strategies, methods, and techniques to address such difficulties. The model also sheds light on feedback, which the author opines should be reflective and enable learners to engage in a dialogic encounter with the educator in order to come to terms with the assessment results and comments. Thus, learners are able to reflect meaningfully on their learning.
doi:10.19128/turje.267909 fatcat:uxmy3czwp5avhcyv3zxrju3cba