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Adult Education in Practice – Women, Gender and Ethnicity

According to Funge (2011), adult education is the kind of learning that advocates change- refereed to as learning- among the aged whose roles in their society and perceptions depict them as adults. Though it has a great contrast with the everyday form of learning, it has proven over the years to promote internal changes in the adults that attempts to instill new information in the individual. This discipline of knowledge despite the fact that it accentuates training in adults, it has numerous contentious issues. Various analysts and researchers have put across their views on these special topics in adult education. Among these issues include access and equity, culture and education, settlements and adult education among others. This essay will highlight adult education in practice focusing on women, gender and ethnicity.

It is evident that women are not homogenous. Due to the disparities in age, gender, color assumptions that information will be in taken in the same way by these learners is an oversight. The interaction of these women is different due to differences in social class (Heaney, 2000). In a learning setting, some women view themselves as disadvantaged and will have a lesser disposition unlike others. Heaney (2000) continues to argue that the representation of the minority category expresses a high percentage of shortcomings. These learners have difficulty in fitting in a learning environment may be as a result of their demeaned self esteem and inferiority feelings of incapability. As an educator it is important to highlight these features for successful instruction to take place in this classroom. If they manage to bring to light these attributes in learners, and foretell their implications to teaching and learning, then they should be change agents in the learners who hold the perception of their being stumpy.

Adult Education in Practice - Women, Gender and Ethnicity

In relation to women and diversity in terms of their culture, beliefs, it is mandatory that the tutor selects the best means of conducting instruction. Marienau (2005) outlines that women have an added advantage in terms of oral expression as opposed to men. In this context the tutor may use this feature to undertake instruction. If the tutor allows participation of learners in quest to interpret facts, an open forum is created in the classroom despite the varying cultural, racial or nationality background. Discussions have for a long time proven to be the best teacher to multicultural class (Gastil, 2004). Learners who may seem conservative may be asked to contribute towards the on-going discussion and if the process keeps on, silent members of a class will in one way or another be forced to not only speak but also respect other people’s opinions.

The tutor may also be required to learn the use of language by the various learners in various contexts in the classroom set up. In the case of African American, dialogue may be an important source of instruction and learning in these women. According to Holst (2010), African American women have a tendency of using dialogue in aspects of life like preaching. They advocate dialogue as a method of learning. Preachers are known to successfully pass their message through dialogue. The tutor may use this in the classroom to teach the adult women of African American origin to weigh whether concepts have been grasped or not.

Another case in point is the white women who are known to learn through asking questions. Studies have indicated that most American women teach their children by asking them questions. Their interactions through inquisitive measures would be a good ground for learning. Women may have issues in asking questions and socialization through stages of development (Marienau, C. 2005). It is the responsibility of the tutor to ensure that adult education is offered to all women by studying their responses and detecting as fast as possible the best alternatives to effective learning for adult education to be made a successful learning course.

  • Funge, S. (2011). Promoting the social justice orientation of students: The role of the educator. Journal of social work education; 47(1), 73-90.
  • Gastil, J. (2004). Adult civic education through the National Issues Forums: Developing democratic habits and disposition through public deliberation. Adult Education Quarterly, 54(4), 308-328
  • Heaney, T. (2000). Adult education and society. In A. L. Wilson & E. R. Hayes (eds.), Handbook of adult and continuing education (pp. 559-572). Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.
  • Holst, J. D. (2010). Social Justice and Dispositions for Adult Education. Adult Education Quarterly, 60(3), 49-260.
  • Marienau, C. (2005). In Their Own Voices: Women Learning About Their Own Development. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education: No. 65, Spring 2005

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