Specificity of adult education - Theory of Learning

Specificity of adult education

As a result of studying the chapter, the student must:


general characteristics of the psychology of adulthood;

• Features of adult learning;

• history and subject of andragogy studies;

• the main provisions of adult education in terms of andragogy;

• Features of adult learning methods;

• the goals of the adult education system;

• factors that determine the specifics of adult learning;

• Criteria for the effectiveness of the adult learning process;

• the basic principles of adult education;

• age categories for the provision of differentiated adult education;

• features of information and educational activities in adult education;

• the essence of the concept of a learning society;

be able to

• take into account the specifics of the process of adult learning in accordance with the logic of his cognitive-psychological development;

• highlight and describe the main varieties of adult learning styles;

• find an individual approach to the organization of adult learning;

• Allocate different groups of adults, depending on the motivation for learning;

• Apply the basic principles of adult learning in the logic of continuing education;


• Didactic conception of the specifics and content of adult learning;

• the main provisions of andragogy in providing the educational process for adults.

Adult education is interpreted in the United States Pedagogical Encyclopedia as a direction in education, ensuring the satisfaction of the educational needs of persons engaged in independent professional work.

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Adult is one of the stages in the age-related evolution of a person that lasts about 40 years and is characterized by the highest achievements of personality. In the socio-psychological sense, adulthood occurs in the process of the formation of a person as a subject of social and labor activity.

The position of an adult as a subject of various types of social activity is determined by a number of features. NI Mitskevich singles out the following: the involvement of an adult in the sphere of professional work; dynamic change of the world with its global problems; the presence in an adult of a coherent, consistent position that has an inertial character.

H. I. Mickiewicz calls the peculiarities of the teaching of an adult : the presence of an inner urge to teach, helping himself to set himself the task, to build a plan for solving it and implement it; independence as the ability to organize the process of solving a problem and manage it in accordance with this task; dependence of the degree of involvement of a person in the learning process from the autonomy of thinking, the ability to innovate, to cooperate, the ability to learn and transfer to others the acquired knowledge; mobility; the constant desire of a person to build his professional activity on the basis of new information as a way of his self-expression and self-development.

Educational activity for an adult is, as a rule, not a basic, but an auxiliary activity.

As a negative phenomenon, scientists note that the processes of perception, remembering, thinking in an adult are not as productive as in a child or adolescent. In this connection, the methodology, methods, methods of learning, for example, the use of mnemonic methods of memorizing, become of primary importance.

In addition, an adult has established mental models, positive for him as an individual experience of social behavior, professional activity, etc. However, this experience is out of date, individual mental models conflict with general (corporate) goals, skills and requirements, which makes it difficult to educate an adult when it is necessary not only to "inculcate" new, but also removal old, obsolete.

It was revealed that with age, various functions become more interconnected, coordinated, integrated into some integral ensemble, which allows a person to compensate for the shortcomings in the development of one function (for example, memory) due to the higher development of the other (for example, thinking).

The first Ph.D. in Adult Education in the United States was awarded to Columbia University. Along with the term adult education Currently, the concept of andragogy (from gr. aner, andros - adult man, mature husband + ago - lead). Andragogy is the branch of pedagogical science that reveals the theoretical and practical problems of adult education, upbringing and education throughout his life.

In a broad sense, andragogy should be understood as the science of personal self-realization of a person throughout his life. As is known, some people are realized at a young age, but many are revealed gradually, accumulating knowledge, experience, skills and skills throughout their life. Andragogy contributes to this disclosure of personality, helps to find their place in life, to realize their hidden abilities.

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For the first time, the term andragogy was introduced in 1833 by the German historian of the Enlightenment A. Kapp. However, his approach to lifelong learning had many opponents, as not all recognized the need and the possibility of organizing such training. Thus, the German philosopher, psychologist and educator, the founder of the school in the German pedagogy of the XIX century. GI Friedrich expressed his disagreement with the "legalized eternal minority" person.

From the middle of XX century. adult education is most often seen as an element of continuing education. If initially the continuous education was interpreted as compensatory, eliminating the shortcomings of adult education, related either to the aging of the knowledge obtained earlier, or to the deficiencies in the work of the existing education systems, it was later looked at in connection with the problem of continuing education.

In 1970 M. Sh. Knowles published a fundamental work on andragogy "Modern practice of adult education. Andragogy against pedagogy & quot ;. In it, he formulated basic principles of adult learning .

1. An adult who is studying - a student (and not a trainee) has a leading role in the learning process.

2. Adult, being a formed personality, sets for itself specific goals of training, strives for independence, self-realization, self-management.

3. An adult has a professional and life experience, knowledge, skills, skills that must be used in the learning process.

4. The adult seeks the earliest application of the knowledge and skills obtained in teaching.

5. The learning process is largely determined by temporal, spatial, domestic, professional, social factors that either limit or contribute to it.

6. The learning process is organized in the form of a joint activity of the trainee and the instructor at all its stages.

The basic position of andragogy, in contrast to traditional pedagogy, is that the leading role in the learning process is played not by the educator, but by the learner. The function of the trainer in this case is to assist the learner in identifying, systematizing, formalizing the personal experience of the latter, adjusting and replenishing his knowledge. In this case, the priority of teaching methods changes. Andragogics instead of lectures primarily involves practical exercises, often experimental nature, discussions, business games, cases, solving specific production problems and problems. In addition, the approach to obtaining theoretical knowledge is changing. In the first place are disciplines containing integrated material on several related fields of knowledge (interdisciplinary disciplines), for example, project management.

All those new knowledge and skills that an adult receives from different sources of information and assimilates in specific forms of educational activity, actively involving the knowledge acquired earlier, together represent, by GS Suhobskaya's definition, the phenomenon of adult education.

The main goal of the adult education system , as V.I. Pobed notes, is the provision of the person's social education help in adapting to the new conditions of existence, in determining his participation in the production, social and cultural life of society, in the development of social immunity, adequate behavior in extreme conditions.

E. P. Tonkonaya singles out both negative and positive trends in the development of adult education at the present time. Negative factors include: a significant decrease in the number of students; a noticeable curtailment of some aspects of post-base education; reduction of training terms; commercialization of many forms of adult education; regionalization of education.

As positive, the following are highlighted: the emergence of new structures that offer adults a variety of educational services for new scarce and prestigious professions; the transformation of the former adult education structures into others, more flexible and meeting modern needs; expansion of goals and directions of education; granting adults full freedom of choice of directions and problems of education; the selection and structuring of the content of education, taking into account the personal interests and needs of adults; the desire to use adult education as a factor of social adaptation and social protection of some socio-demographic groups (unemployed, disabled, refugees, demobilized from the US Armed Forces, etc.); use of modern information technologies in adult education.

With. G. Vershlovski emphasizes the following orientations of adults in the sphere of education. So, if the direct benefit of education (for work, status, etc.) is relevant for a person, then this person is oriented to its practical value. Another type of orientation is associated with the recognition of the independent value of education; in this case, educational activity acts as an independent activity. The third type is associated with orientation in such a way that general education is not included in the system of its values, it is insignificant; in this case, it is not realized what choice is made for.

Depending on the motivational orientation of H. F. Fedorova divides the students of adults into the following three groups.

The first group of people focused on the goal of activity, include those who use the education to achieve clearly defined goals. The second group of people, socially oriented, includes those for whom the learning conditions have a certain meaning and significance, although the training itself may not be related to the content of their activities. And, finally, the third group includes those who are oriented to the teaching, those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

It is interesting to classify adult learners according to their teaching methods. Η. Fedorova singles out four adult learning styles .

To the first group are those who adhere to the principle of a specific logical sequence. Such students receive information from direct experience, they value order and logical sequence, follow direct instructions and like a well-organized presentation of the material, a quiet environment.

To the second group are students who follow the principle of so-called abstract chaos. Such students value learning in general, but prefer to receive information in an unorganized, chaotic manner.

To the third group are students who follow the principle of an abstract logical sequence. They have, as a rule, brilliant ability to decode written, oral and figurative symbols, have in their imagination an abundance of different conceptual representations against which to build what they read, see or hear in graphic or imaginative form.

To the fourth group are students who follow the principle of the so-called concrete chaos, demonstrating the propensity to experiment. They quickly grasp ideas and make intuitive steps in solving unclear problems; learn by trial and error, work successfully in small groups, demonstrating a high degree of independence, not following the instructions in accuracy, but contributing something of their own.

0. V. Ehrlich identifies the following factors , that determine the specifics of adult learning.

1. The shift of emphasis from the transfer of knowledge in the content of education to provide the conditions necessary for mastering the ways of independent interaction with various aspects of reality.

2. Step by step removal teaching as one of the components of the learning process and the transition of the subject of the andragogical process to the "self-development mode."

3. Modeling compressed time frames passing each educational role in the process of shaping the nature of cognitive activity.

4. The practice-oriented nature of the learning process.

5. Orientation of the educational process to meet the needs of adult learners in professional and informal communication.

These features allow us to talk about the following performance criteria of this process.

1. Creation in the process of training of conditions for value self-determination and harmonization of values ​​of subjects of the educational process.

2. Identification and awareness in the process of learning values ​​ development & quot ;, subjective activity as a factor in the positive self-realization of the personality.

3. Mastering in the learning process the ability to create projects (programs) of their professional, educational activities, life in general.

4. Formation in the process of learning the level of communicative culture, sufficient to ensure the possibility of positive intersubject interaction, etc.

Summarizing the data of modern didactics, VA Dresvyannikov outlines the following basic principles of adult education .

1. The principle of priority of self-study. In order to practically use this principle, considerable preliminary preparation is needed - the preparation of training programs, the selection and replication of educational material, the acquisition and creation of educational computer programs. It is not enough to compile a list of literature. This principle provides an opportunity for an adult to unhurried acquaintance with educational materials, memorization of terms, concepts, classifications, understanding of processes and technologies for their implementation. Considerable assistance in this is provided by modern distance learning.

2. The principle of the joint activity of the student with classmates and the teacher in the preparation and in the process of training. The starting point of the learning process is the identification of the needs of students and production needs. The interview of the trainer (analyst, cognitive scientist), group discussions allow to identify these needs. And it is necessary to find out four points of view on the subject of training: the student himself (or several students in group studies), his supervisor, the subordinate and the partner (the one with whom the trainee is connected with in-house production links).

3. The principle of using the existing positive life experience (primarily social and professional), practical knowledge, skills, skills of the learner as a training base and a source of formalization of new knowledge. This principle is based on active teaching methods that stimulate the creative work of students. On the other hand, attention should be paid to individual work, such as writing essays such as abstracts, case studies (according to some given template), creating methodological charts and descriptions that can then be worked out to the enterprise standard. Individual work is also in the dialogue of the learner with the teacher (analyst, cognitive scientist), aimed at the mutual transfer of information and knowledge. At the same time formalization of empirical knowledge is carried out.

4. The principle of adjusting the outdated experience and personal attitudes that impede the development of new knowledge. It can be used both professional and social experience, which conflicts with the requirements of the times, with corporate goals. For example, a highly qualified specialist can be adjusted to individual work, to hide personal knowledge, to reject new promising workers, seeing in them a threat to their personal well-being. In such cases, conversations are needed, a belief in the inadequacy of the habitual, the formation of new points of view, the discovery of new perspectives, etc., i.е. educational events.

5. The principle of the individual approach for learning on the basis of personal needs, taking into account the social and psychological characteristics of the individual and those restrictions imposed by his activities, the availability of free time, financial resources, etc. At the heart of the individual approach is an assessment of the personality of the learner, an analysis of his professional activity, the social status and the nature of the relationship in the team. Preliminary interviews, questioning, testing allow you to build a social and psychological portrait of the learner.

6. The principle of the electivity of learning. It means giving the learner the freedom to choose goals, content, forms, methods, sources, means, terms, time, place of training, evaluation of learning outcomes.

7. The principle of reflectivity. This principle is based on the learner's conscious attitude toward learning, which in turn is the main part of the learner's self-motivation.

8. The principle of relevance of learning outcomes practical activity of the learner. First and foremost, this is the demand for the knowledge, skills, and skills of the economic, production activities of the enterprise acquired by the learner. Based on this principle, research and analysis of activities are necessary before planning and organizing the training, which will allow us to formulate the goals and objectives of the training.

9. The principle of the system of learning. It is in accordance with the goals and content of teaching its forms, methods, tools of learning and evaluation of results. Systematicity can also be understood as systematic; continuity or regularity of training, taking into account the results of previous studies and new training needs.

10. The principle of actualization of learning outcomes (their early use in practice). The fulfillment of this principle is ensured by the previous principles - systemic, practical demand for learning outcomes, an individual approach, the use of experience.

11. The principle of development of the learner. Training should be aimed at improving the personality, creating abilities for self-learning, comprehending the new in the process of human activities.

As VA Dresviannikov points out, for the most effective achievement of learning goals, it is necessary to divide adults into different age categories of provision of differentiated adult education (by generations). Social science distinguishes three age categories: up to 25 years, from 25 to 45 years, over 45 years.

The first category is divided into two groups - having and not having a professional education. Accordingly, the first need is to give this education so that they become involved in professional activities, organizing production training classes.

The second should create conditions for professional development.

The second category has professional education and work experience, for it is actual professional development, realization of potential.

The third category of adults, even though it has reached a certain social and professional status, also requires constant, adaptive in nature instruction, but this training is often impossible without interacting with the first and second categories, during which the mutual learning is carried out.

For each category, it is necessary to establish the required goals, approaches, training methods, to determine the interaction of workers belonging to different categories, establishing, for example, mentoring relationships.

One of the most important components of the adult education system is information and educational activities , which has its own specifics: non-professional orientation, orientation to the spiritual interests of various groups of the population; multidimensional differentiation of the real audience by socio-demographic, professional and other characteristics; functioning on the basis of voluntariness, informal communication and amateur performance of the participants in the educational process. As noted by LV Polagutina, the importance of informational and educational activities in the adult education system reflects its functions :

a) creative, contributes to the realization of the creative potential of the individual through the development of both cognitive and social activity, since, being included in the system of information and enlightenment activity, a person becomes not only the object of the educational process, but also his active subject;

b) compensatory, replenishing, supplementing the basic education;

c) Integrating is the unifying continuity of the acquisition and accumulation of systematic knowledge, since information and educational activity is all-encompassing in direction and purpose, content and levels, universal in social strata, categories and population groups, age gradations and forms of implementation, including both systematized and non-systematized educational processes, where each person has the opportunity to build his own system of prolonged education.

Adult education is at the present stage as an organic element of the concept of a learning society . The essence of this society, in the opinion of BN Volkov and EI Ogaryov, is in creating the necessary prerequisites and opportunities for active participation of the population in various types of educational and cognitive activities with a view to improving the quality of life of both the individual and various social groups and society as a whole. The idea of ​​a learning society arose from the realization of the inability of traditional society to respond adequately to the diverse and dynamically changing educational needs of a large part of the adult population. Signs of a learning society: learning activity is a lifelong process: there is no distinct time frame between the study period and the work period; educational activities are carried out in all social institutions; all educational institutions are integrated into a single system; success or failure of educational activities at some of its stages is not a decisive factor for human life.

Signs of a traditional society: the life of a person is clearly divided into periods of study and the period of work; educational activities are mainly concentrated in the formal education system; the central place is occupied by the system of regular education (shkolotsentrizm); the presence of a diploma is a decisive factor determining the possibility of employment, as well as continuing education at a higher level.

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