Sunday, February 7, 2010

Adult Education Approaches

Adult education is frequently ignored in debates about education quality, but it has its share of behaviourist, humanist and critical approaches (see Box 1.10). Some writers, with roots in humanism and constructivism, emphasize the experience of adults as a central learning resource.25 Others see adult education as an essential part of socio-cultural, political and historical transformation.26 The latter view is most famously associated with literacy programmes and with the work of the radical theorist Paulo Freire, for whom education was an intensely important mechanism for awakening political awareness.27 His work urges adult educators not only to engage learners in dialogue, to name oppressive experiences, but also, through ‘problem posing’ and ‘conscientization’, to realize the extent to which they themselves have been influenced by repressive societal forces.

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