Community Development Practice Methods

5 Recommended Sources for the Discourse on Adult Education

1. The Popular Education News 
2. Mealer's Regard By Michael Newman 
3. How do you Teach Content in Adult Education? An Annotated Bibliography. By Elizabeth M. Zachary and John P. Comings
4. Adult Education for Community Development By Edwin Hamilton
5.Key Concepts in Adult Education By Malcolm Tight
Hamilton (1992) also discusses the traditional lack of critical reflection pertaining to the social context in adult education. Adult education still places the emphasis on the cognitive and psycho-motor areas of education. Hamilton alludes to the idea the adult education needs to push people into the realm of experiential learning where they can take meaning from a specific experience in their life and apply it to other areas of their life. Traditionally there has been a disconnect between formal adult education and social change although this seems to be changing.

The following is an online article from BBC

On 19 October 2010, Baroness Sharp of Guildford opened a debate on the benefits of adult education and what the government is doing to "support and encourage institutions which seek to promote lifelong learning".

The Lib Dem peer said that adult learning provides a large number of benefits for society as a whole.

Baroness Sharp told peers that it leads to higher earnings, less unemployment, better health, longer lives, and lower crime rates.

"Above all, there is greater self-learning and self-confidence, which in turn makes people feel that learning is worthwhile in itself and for itself," she said.

The Labour peer Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town said that the current learning system has "failed to respond" to the challenges of an ageing society which is "heavily skewed towards young people".

Lady Hayter said that adult education offers a "second chance" for people those who missed out on higher education at 18.

She highlighted the work of Ruskin College in Oxford - an independent institution that focuses on providing educational opportunities for adults with few or no qualifications.

Baroness Hayter pointed out that fellow peer Lord Prescott had completed his higher education at Ruskin and gone on to become deputy prime minister, despite having left school at 15.

Baroness Garden of Frognal, replying for the government, said that ministers recognised the importance of adult learning.

"We are clear that Britain's long-term recovery depends on boosting the skills of our people," she said.

However, the Lib Dem whip said that it would be "absurd" to think that adult education would not be affected by decisions made in the comprehensive spending review.

Lady Garden told peers that the previous administration had relied "too heavily" on targets, and that business ministers wanted to reverse this trend.

"This government will not reduce all learning to that which fits utilitarian descriptions, or which can be measured in terms of jobs and qualifications targets," she said.