A working philosophy continues to grow, adapt, and change as you grow and develop, as societal conditions change, and as our priorities and understanding of our students evolves. Thus, as a end mark to this blog, the following working philosophy is and will always be a work in progress as I continue to grow and develop intellectually while adapting to the ever-changing needs of learners. My working philosophy will address my personal beliefs about adults as learners.
Beliefs about Adults as Learners
I believe that adults choose to pursue formal education for a myriad of personal and professional reasons, ranging from general interest to qualifications training. However, regardless of the initial reason to pursue additional learning, there is a common aspect that I believe all adult learners share. This universal aspect of adult education includes the notion that adult learners have a desire to acquire knowledge and skills that will have immediate relevance to their lives, either personally, professionally, or both. A classic statement that a mentor once shared with me encompasses this idea: “Adult education is concerned not with preparing people for life, but rather helping people to live more successfully.”
Accordingly, I believe that adult education is not focused upon traditional content or contexts to prepare individuals for life but rather to teach adult learners useful skills and knowledge that can be utilized so that these learners become more efficient and effective in accomplishing tasks in their own personal life.
Beliefs about Intentions and Aims
From a broad perspective, I believe that my inherent aim is to help and assist learners. While my efforts are clearly focused on the learner, I hope that each of my learners will be able to use what they have learned to create and develop benefits for our collective society.
Thus, I am addressing this challenge by focusing on the learner who will hopefully and eventually bring about a greater good for the collective. My objective in my teaching is to encourage learners to critically examine all aspects of their life and all that is taken for granted in our society. This emphasis on metacognition acts as a primary motivational factor in my teaching practice, and I hope will serve my students well – both personally and professionally during their life.