Indeed, adult education is experiencing a much-needed surge of interest from the innovation and entrepreneurial communities, according to experts, observers, and providers. They hope that this interest will develop new human capital, improve outcomes, and attract additional resources.
Some of the developments – flipped, blended, gamified, mobile learning – are familiar trends generally mirroring those taking place in other sectors. Others trends and concepts – contextualization, “braided” funding, and “bridge” programs – are more specific to the needs of low-skill adults and adult education programs who serve them.
Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting trends and innovations in adult education from our interviews with experts and leaders in the field.
Fewer and fewer employment opportunities exist in America for both routine cognitive work and manual labor, and the gap is widening over the decades. Unless they’re location-dependent, manual labor jobs often are outsourced to cheaper locations overseas. Unless they’re location-dependent, routine cognitive jobs are increasingly being replaced both by cheaper workers overseas and by software algorithms.
What kind of schoolwork do most American students do most of the time? Routine cognitive work. What kind of work is emphasized in nearly all of our national and state assessment schemes? Routine cognitive work. For what kind of work do traditionalist parents and politicians continue to advocate? Routine cognitive work.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
If ever we needed to foster risky thinking, comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty as raisson d'etre it's probably now... Do schools and universities serve their students with mundane and predictable pathways??
The Global Learning Qualifications Framework (GLQF) is a culmination of more than 90 countries and various organizations’ account of what constitutes college-level learning. Your knowledge in any particular area touches upon the eight learning domains (specialized knowledge, contextual knowledge, integrated knowledge, communication, information literacy, sociocultural engagement, ethical responsibility, self-regulated learning), but in varying amounts and with great overlap.
To be assessed for your learning, don’t try to respond to each definition. Try to think about how your learning has developed over time in the application of the learning domains.
Each definiton is followed by questions to consider. Do not expect to answer all of these questions, but pick and choose the ones that best fit your learning in your field. They are there to help you think about what you know and how you can describe your learning.
Scientists are generally a cautious bunch. We are trained to equivocate about our results, stress on caveats, consider alternative explanations and repeat the mantra “more research is needed”. Teachers and educators, understandably, don’t have time for this academic hand-wringing. They want techniques that will just work. This is the gap that these scientific cargo cults exploit. They promise easy fixes and quick gains, based on “proven” research. Scientists need to be bolder in refuting some of these claims. At the same time, educators and business leaders need to be more critical in approaching them.
Virginia Commonwealth University's vice provost for learning innovation and student success tells CT about the university's new ALT Lab, which — with an open house Sept. 10 — is just now launching to redefine the notion of centers for teaching, learning and instructional technology and reshape the way the university supports excellence in teaching and learning.
An art teacher and I (drama teacher) started to use a negotiated approach with students about 15 years ago. By working with students to be aware of curriculum expectations and discussing "what would this look like" we assisted students with developingntheir own learnign pathways and expressions of their learning - in keeping with the legislated requirements of curriculum. I've also noted over the years that elements of the International Baccalaureate - particularly the project work from MYP - reflects a similar approach.
Without reference to research literature, I'd speculate that this speaks to engagement, authenticity and relevance... and needn't be confined to K-12 contexts.... well-documented project work could be conducted outside the confines of formal classes and evidenced against formal assessment criteria.
This volume presents distinctive, innovative models of teacher education from Australia, discusses their successful elements and considers possibilities for successful teacher education in the twenty-first century. Each model is couched within the international teacher education concerns of the theory practice nexus, school-university partnerships, reflective practice, and the role of technology. The contributing authors, drawn from different contexts and locations around Australia, each offers research-based perspectives on successful teacher education. Responses to teacher education challenges in rural and regional contexts, metropolitan areas, among low socio-economic populations and Indigenous communities are considered. Ways in which technology, and in particular mobile technology, can be used to support learning across these diverse contexts are illustrated, as is the role of reflective practice to encourage critical reflection for improving teacher learning. Collectively, the authors present a range of directions that can guide the future of teacher education both nationally and internationally, demonstrating that context, partnerships, reflection and technology are critical elements in the provision of successful teacher education.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Pleased to have contributed to Chapter 8... looking forward to reading the rest of the book!
Is self-directedness, in fact, innate? Though it doesn’t speak directly of autodidacts, the psychology of motivation and interest suggests that self-directed learners are not only born, but can be made. The research suggests it’s likely that the autodidacts among us did make the wrong turns and poor choices van Merriënboer and Kirschner warn about—made them, but then kept going until they got it right. It’s likely that their keen interest in their subjects carried them past the failures and frustrations that would have deterred less ardent learners.
Deeper learning has some specific requirements, not the least of which is collaboration. Ben Johnson shares some tips to establish cross-curricular collaboration even in the most isolated of environments.
Yesterday I got an email from a faculty member who had just received her spring semester student ratings (yes, in August, but that’s a topic for another post). She’d gotten one of those blistering student comments. “This teacher should not be paid. We had to teach ourselves in this course.” I remember another faculty member telling me about similar feedback, which was followed later with a comment about how the course “really made me think.”
In addition to violating expectations, students respond negatively to this style of teaching because most of them want learning to be easy. When they have to come up with examples, answers, or solutions, that’s more work than being told by the teacher, and there’s the added stress of not knowing whether the examples are good, the answers are right, or the solutions correct. When learning isn’t easy, a lot of students question their intellectual wherewithal, but that’s not a problem they have to face if the fault lies with the teacher.
Erasmus+ aims to modernise and improve higher education across Europe and the rest of the world.
It gives students and staff opportunities to develop their skills and boost their employment prospects. Good practices will be shared between universities and businesses in Knowledge Alliances.
Higher education institutions from participating countries can work with those from neighbourhood countries, non-EU Balkan countries, Asia, Africa and Latin America to develop their educational systems.
“Remember before the internet?” asks Joi Ito. “Remember when people used to try to predict the future?” In this engaging talk, the head of the MIT Media Lab skips the future predictions and instead shares a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission or for proof that you have the right idea. This kind of bottom-up innovation is seen in the most fascinating, futuristic projects emerging today, and it starts, he says, with being open and alert to what’s going on around you right now. Don’t be a futurist, he suggests: be a now-ist.
When we come across new technologies or digital platforms for the first time in further and higher education (HE), how do we decide what the technology does or should do, and how we can use it to help us?
Teaching is not easy. It is a profession that requires educators to be relevant. Being relevant doesn’t come with age. Just the opposite occurs, and it requires work to keep up. Teaching is not a profession that enables one to stop learning after the degree is earned and the job is secured. Technology is moving us all too fast for anyone to sit back relying on old methods and tools.
"We have come to a point in the education technology journey where it seems rather dull to still be asking if the iPad is the right device for the classroom. The answer, in case you’ve missed the last few years of debate is that it is a great option, but this is not universally accepted and never will be. Nonetheless, one of the attributes you’ll hear put forward is that it is easy to use because of the intuitive nature of iOS. This is absolutely true; you can put the iPad into the hands of almost any child and within a short period of time they will have mastered it.
So does it then follow that you can out the iPad into the hands of teachers and expect the same results?
The emphasis on iPads is a bit of a distraction here - the issue is related more to the ability of teachers to create engaging learnng opportunities where technology use extends and enhances the students' capacity for self-direction, information literacy, collaboration. culural awareness, etc... be it with an iPad or other ICT, the point is that too many teachers still rely on delivery and control, rather than authentic opportunities for learning.
People now buy songs, not albums. They read articles, not newspapers. So why not mix and match learning “modules” rather than lock into 12-week university courses?
That question is a major theme of a 213-page report released on Monday by a committee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exploring how the 153-year-old engineering powerhouse should innovate to adapt to new technologies and new student expectations.
"The New Yorker has made its archives since 2007 (and a few articles from before that) free for the next three months. That includes some great journalism on education — a tour of the biggest debates in K-12 and higher education.
"If you need something to read on your next flight, want a break from beach reading, or are aiming for a better grasp of the American education system before the kids go back to school this fall… here's your summer reading syllabus."