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The Question All Adult Educators Must Ask themselves

It’s a well-known fact: Adult educators tend to be generous, dedicated and motivated to meet their students’ needs. However, some educators don’t pause to examine the true impact of their hard work. As an adult educator, reflecting on your work and asking yourself vital questions can help you be a better and more effective teacher.

Types of Adult Education Services

Before delving into the question you should be asking yourself, let’s look at the main kinds of adult ed services and your role in them. Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner noted in Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide that some services are designed to maintain and protect the status quo. They sustain an economic system that limits some workers’ access to better opportunities. In other words, these services offer students survival skills just to get by in the work world. Sadly, they ignore learners’ potential and dreams and instead promote compliance testing, basic skills and dead-end jobs.

Fortunately, other adult ed services encourage learners to shoot for the sky. These programs prepare learners for the infinite game of life. They enable students to develop transferable and salable skills that will make them successful at home, work and other aspects of their lives. For instance, these services use standardized testing, but they focus more on assisting learners in developing the following:

  • Good reading skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Mathematical reasoning
  • Learning and study skills
  • Writing skills
  • Cultural intelligence

The Question Adult Educators Must Ask Themselves

As adult educators, we all need to examine the impact of our hard work. Therefore, we must ask ourselves this question: 

Are we preparing learners to succeed in the marketplace or does our work only maintain the status quo? 

Reflecting on this question can help us determine how to use our experience, expertise and knowledge for the betterment of our students. What do you think? 

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