Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Action Research; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Age Differences; Case Studies; Competence; Educational Research; Employee Attitudes; Employer Attitudes; Older Workers; On the Job Training; Organizational Change; Outcomes of Education; Small Businesses; Vocational Evaluation; Work Environment.

Tusting, K., & Barton, D. (2006). Models of adult learning: A literature review. Leicester, UK: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.


This report reviews models of learning that focus on adults, in opposition to most models of learning that focus on the context of children's learning within a formal educational system. The report draws out key models of adult learning with significance for research and development in adult language, literacy and numeracy. Among the topics covered are: self-directed learning, informal learning and learning how to learn; reflective and experiential learning; transformative models and postmodern approaches to learning; and models of learning produced from management learning and online and distance learning.

KEY WORDS: Adult Learning; Continuing Education; Literacy; Numeracy; Experiential Learning; Online Learning; Distance Education.

Van Der Veen, R., & Preece, J. (2005). Poverty reduction and adult education: Beyond basic education. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 24(5), 381-391.


One of the Millennium Development Goals declared by the United Nations in 2000 was to reduce by half the population of people living in extreme poverty, by 2015. Adult education can and should contribute significantly to this development goal. Nevertheless it has hardly been explored so far in the national Poverty Reduction Strategies Papers. In as far as attention has been given to the contribution of adult education to the reduction of poverty, the trend has been to focus on literacy or basic education. Nevertheless, adult education is potentially much more than literacy or basic education. Successful contribution of adult education to poverty reduction programmes includes also agricultural extension, vocational education, community development and training for active citizenship. In this introduction of the special issue of the International Journal of Lifelong Education, we will sketch the state of the art for each of these branches of adult education. Moreover, our central argument will be that developing countries do not only need a more extended system for adult education, but also a more flexible and more targeted system than the rather traditional practices in most developing countries.
KEY WORDS: Rural Extension; Vocational Education; Poverty; Lifelong Learning; Community Development; Adult Education; Adult Basic Education; Poverty Programs.

Westerhuis, A. (2001). European structures of qualification levels: A synthesis based on reports on recent developments in Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (England and Wales). Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.


European structures of qualification levels were examined through a review of reports on recent developments in Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The examination focused on the following topics: the scope of the national frameworks; the definition of standards and qualifications; the definition of levels in qualification frameworks; development and maintenance of standards and qualifications; classification of qualifications at the tertiary level; and the European 1985 five-level framework and the national structures. None of the countries studied had a classification system consisting of one unique (monopolistic) set of qualifications serving as a reference frame to certify a wide variety of learning and work experience at an exhaustive range of levels. England and France came the closest. The analysis of the countries studied and their approach to level frameworks was said to underline a general need for establishing such frameworks at least on the national level to ensure transparency and coherence.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Adult Learning; Certification; Classification; Comparative Analysis; Comparative Education; Credentials; Definitions; Prior Learning; Qualifications; Standard Setting; State of the Art Reviews; Synthesis; Systems Approach; Trend Analysis; Vocational Education; Work Experience.
Wilson, A. L., & Hayes, E. R. (Eds.). (2000). Handbook of adult and continuing education. New edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

This handbook presents the perspectives of more than 60 leading authorities on the study and practice of adult and continuing education. The following are among the papers included: "A Selective History of Adult Education Handbooks" (A.L. Wilson, E.R. Hayes); "The Concept of Critically Reflective Practice" (Stephen D. Brookfield); "Linking the Individual Learner to the Context of Adult Learning" (Rosemary Caffarella, Sharan B. Merriam); "Learning from Experience in Adult Education" (Nod Miller); "Adult Learning for Self-Development and Change" (Mark Tennant); "Discourses and Cultures of Teaching" (Daniel D. Pratt, Tom Nesbit); "The Invisible Politics of Race in Adult Education" (Juanita Johnson-Bailey, Ronald M. Cervero); "Cultures of Transformation" (Ann K. Brooks); "From Functionalism to Postmodernism in Adult Education Leadership" (Joe F. Donaldson, Paul Jay Edelson); "Adult Learning and Technology" (Carol E. Kasworm, Carroll A. Londoner); "Adult Literacy" (Eunice N. Askov); "Moving beyond Performance Paradigms in Human Resource Development" (Laura L. Bierema); "Putting Meaning into Workplace Learning" (Tara J. Fenwick); "Adult Education in Rural Community Development" (Lillian H. Hill, Allen B. Moore); "Exploring 'Community' in Community College Practice" (Iris M. Weisman, Margie S. Longacre); "Control and Democracy in Adult Correctional Education" (Howard S. Davidson); "Cooperative Extension" (Glenn J. Applebee); "Distance Education for Lifelong Learning" (Chere Campbell Gibson); "English as a Second Language in Adult Education" (Richard A. Orem); "Contributions of the Military to Adult and Continuing Education" (Steve F. Klime, Clinton L. Anderson); "Older Adult Learning" (James C. Fisher, Mary Alice Wolf); "Formal Mentoring Programs" (Catherine A. Hansman); "Prior Learning Assessment: The Quiet Revolution" (Alan M. Thomas); "A Postmodern Approach to Adult Religious Education" (Leona M. English, Marie A. Gillen); "Urban Contexts for Adult Education Practice" (Barbara J. Daley, James C. Fisher, Larry G. Martin); "Adult Education and Society" (Thomas W. Heaney); "A Sociology of Adult Education" (Phyllis M. Cunningham); "The Politics of Knowledge Construction" (David Deshler, Nancy Grudens-Schuck); "Evolving Directions in Professionalization and Philosophy" (Ronald Podeschi); "Defining the Profession: A Critical Appraisal" (Susan Imel, Ralph G. Brockett, Waynne Blue James); and "The Learning Society" (John Holford, Peter Jarvis).


KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Continuing Education; Education Work Relationship; Educational Policy; Educational Research; Educational Technology; Outcomes of Education; Performance Based Assessment; Politics of Education; Postmodernism; Theory Practice Relationship; Transformative Learning; Urban Education; Work Experience Programs; Workplace Literacy.

Zepke, N., & Leach, L. (2006). Improving learner outcomes in lifelong education: Formal pedagogies in non-formal learning contexts? International Journal of Lifelong Education, 25(5), 507-518.


This article investigates how research findings about successful pedagogies in formal post-school education might be used in non-formal learning contexts. By non-formal, the authors mean settings where learning does not necessarily lead to formal credentials. The article examines a learner outcomes model adapted from a synthesis of research into retention and how this model can be used to identify pedagogy suitable for formal education. The article then turns its attention to whether this pedagogy may also be appropriate for use in four non-formal learning contexts: community development; adult literacy; workplace learning; and personal interest learning. While results suggest it is possible, the authors acknowledge some short comings that might be addressed by integrating a critical dimension into the model.
KEY WORDS: Non-formal Learning; Pedagogy; Formal Education; Retention; Adult Education.



Section 3.4

Informal Education-Training



Anderson, D., Lucas, K. B., & Ginns, I. S. (2003). Theoretical perspectives on learning in an informal setting. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(2), 177-199.


Reports the findings of an interpretive case study of the knowledge transformations of three Year 7 students who had participated in a class visit to a science museum and associated post-visit activities. Discusses theoretical and practical implications of these findings for teachers and staff of museums and similar institutions.
KEY WORDS: Case Studies; Concept Mapping; Informal Education; Middle Schools; Museums; Science Education; Transformative Learning.

Antone, E. M. (2000). Empowering Aboriginal voice in Aboriginal education. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 24(2), 92-101.


Euro-Western schooling imposed on Canada Natives was meant to destroy their culture and caused great alienation. This qualitative study of Onyota'a:ka (Oneida) Indians indicates that bilingual, bicultural education is needed to restore a strong Native identity. Education must validate traditional knowledge, values, and skills for Onyota'a:ka people to survive as a unique nation.
KEY WORDS: Acculturation; American Indian Education; Canada Natives; Colonialism; Cultural Maintenance; Culturally Relevant Education; Educational Needs; Foreign Countries; Language Maintenance; Lifelong Learning; Nonformal Education; Personal Narratives; Role of Education; Self Concept; Canada; Oneida (Tribe).

Barton, K. C. (2001). "You'd be wanting to know about the past": Social contexts of children's historical understanding in Northern Ireland and the USA. Comparative Education, 37(1), 89-106.


Interviews with 154 elementary school students in Northern Ireland and the United States found that students in both countries were very interested in history and learned about history from family and the media, as well as school. However, the two groups of students had different views on the importance of history and reasons for studying it.
KEY WORDS: Children; Educational Attitudes; Elementary Education; Elementary School Students; Foreign Countries; History Instruction; Informal Education; Relevance (Education); Role of Education; Social Attitudes; Student Attitudes; Student Interests; National Identity; Northern Ireland; United States.

Bekerman, Z., Burbules, N. C., & Silberman-Keller, D. (2006). Learning in places: The informal education reader. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.


Learning in Places is a concerted effort undertaken by an outstanding group of international researchers to create a resource book that can introduce academic, professional and lay readers to the field of informal learning/education and its potential to transform present educational thinking. The book presents a wealth of ideas from a wide variety of disciplinary fields and methodological approaches covering multiple learning landscapes--in museums, workplaces, classrooms, places of recreation--in a variety of political, social and cultural contexts around the world. This book presents the most recent theoretical advances in the field; analyzing the social, cultural, political, historical and economical contexts within which informal learning develops and must be critiqued. It also looks into the epistemology that nourishes its development and into the practices that characterize its implementation; and finally reflects on the variety of educational contexts in which it is practiced.
KEY WORDS: Informal Education; Museums; Mathematics Education; Science Education; Citizenship Education; Internet; After School Programs; Parent Child Relationship; Science Teaching Centers; Cultural Education.

Bennetts, C. (2001). Lifelong learners: In their own words. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 20(4), 272-288.


Interviews with 24 people depicted the formation of meaningful learning relationships in their lives and an interpretation of mentoring as a learning alliance. Most mentoring took place outside formal settings and was characterized by equality and emotional ties. Mentoring should be considered as valuable as formal teaching for the promotion of reflection and sustainable learning.
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Individual Development; Informal Education; Interpersonal Relationship; Learning Processes; Lifelong Learning; Mentors; England.

Boss, S. (2002). The barefoot hours: Out-of-school programs offer to make the most of kids' free time, turning potentially risky afternoons into golden hours of opportunity. Northwest Education, 7(4), 2-7.


Research suggests that after-school programs reduce juvenile crime and risky behavior; increase confidence, academic performance, and social skills; and build positive adult-child and home-school relationships. The need for supervised after-school activities, especially in poor neighborhoods; the characteristics of successful programs; and the need to balance academic activities and kids' time are discussed.
KEY WORDS: Adult Child Relationship; After School Programs; Delinquency Prevention; Disadvantaged Youth; Elementary Secondary Education; Emotional Development; Enrichment Activities; Extended School Day; Informal Education; Program Descriptions; School Recreational Programs; Social Development.

Brockman, J. L., & Dirkx, J. M. (2006). Learning to become a machine operator: The dialogical relationship between context, self, and content. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 17(2), 199-221.


This study examined workplace learning and development through workers experiences of the problem solving within the context of their work. Specifically, this study examined the manufacturing workers' informal learning processes in problem solving contexts. The obtained results suggest that machine operators perceive learning as an integral part of problem solving. The study emphasizes the important roles that management and human resource professionals have as adult educators.
KEY WORDS: Learning Processes; Problem Solving; Human Resources; Adult Educators; Informal Education; Workplace Literacy; Discovery Learning; Skilled Workers.

Brooke, H., & Solomon, J. (2001). Passive visitors or independent explorers: Responses of pupils with severe learning difficulties at an interactive science centre. International Journal of Science Education, 23(9), 941-953.


Reports on studies of students with severe learning difficulties and shows that they could, under appropriate conditions, display impressive concentration and curiosity, and often appeared to achieve valuable learning. Describes some of the dilemmas that may arise in developing these kinds of activities for special education.
KEY WORDS: Elementary Education; Informal Education; Learning Disabilities; Learning Problems; Science Activities; Science Instruction; Special Education.

Bye, J. (2000). Making pathways: Young people and their informal vocational learning. Australia; New South Wales: Australian National Training Authority, Melbourne.


Current research into youth transitions in Australia documents an increasingly individualized process in which significant numbers of youths are deemed at risk of not making a successful transition from school to work. Many theorists are questioning the applicability of the linear model of transition to current conditions. Other theorists are questioning whether the model was ever applicable to all students (especially "nonmainstream" students). The literature also documents the perceived failure of policy in ensuring successful transitions through recognized "pathways" of vocational learning and experience. It may be argued that, by broadening their focus to include the informal vocational experiences young people initiate and the type of learning that occurs in such instances, educational researchers may provide useful insights into how young people experience the transition process and how they seek to position themselves in the youth labor market. Research on this area is being conducted as part of the Research Centre for Vocational Education and Training's national key center program supported by the Australian National Training Authority. It is hoped that this research will shed new light on the increasingly complex transition process experienced by noncollege-bound young people and help policymakers devise more effective policies to assist this transition.
KEY WORDS: Education Work Relationship; National Programs; Outcomes of Education; Postsecondary Education; Research Methodology; Research Needs; Research Utilization; Secondary Education; Theory Practice Relationship; Vocational Education; Youth Employment; Australia; Career Paths.
Cohen, E. H. (2004). Components and symbols of ethnic identity; A case study in informal education and identity formation in diaspora. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 53(1), 87-112.
The ethnic identity of members of ethnic groups who live in a number of different countries is influenced by the surrounding cultures. This paper develops a tool which can help researchers understand the ways in which individuals perceive their own ethnic identity. The components and symbols that determine ethnic identification are analysed. By applying multidimensional analysis techniques to a set of empirical data, we were able to uncover a structure of identity along two axes: the cognitive/affective and the specific/universal. This structure enables us to make comparisons between national sub-populations in terms of their various emphases and perceptions of ethnic identity. We examine here the case of staff members in Jewish informal educational settings: 2,119 staff members from seven countries were surveyed on the self-definitions and symbols that express their relationship with their ethnic and religious heritage. This basic typology could be used in studies of other ethnic groups whose members have emigrated to a number of host countries.
KEY WORDS: Perception of Ethnic Identity; Components; Symbols; Cognitive-Affective; Specific-Universal; Typology; Diaspora; Staff Members; Argentina; Brazil; Canada; France; South Africa; UK; Uruguay.

Cohen, E. H. (2007). Researching informal education: A preliminary mapping. Bulletin de Methodologie Sociologique, 93, 70-88.


Factorial and correspondence analysis applied to an original data set on informal education show that despite of its widespread use, long history and growing importance, little theoretical or cumulative research exists on informal education. Multidimensional data analysis techniques are applied to classify, and organize content issues and methods in the domain of informal education. A "structural state of the art" of recent research on informal education is presented, allowing a preliminary mapping of the field.
KEY WORDS: Factor Analysis; Spatial Analysis; Educational Systems; Informal Sector; Educational Research; Factorial Correspondence Analysis; Smallest Space Analysis; Informal Education.

Cox-Petersen, A. M., Marsh, D. D., Kisiel, J., & Melber, L. M. (2003). Investigation of guided school tours, student learning, and science reform recommendations at a museum of natural history. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(2), 200-218.


Investigates how natural history content is conveyed to students and what students gain from this model of touring a museum. Discusses how the content and pedagogy within the guided tour complemented recommendations from formal science standards documents and informal learning literature.
KEY WORDS: Educational Change; Elementary Secondary Education; Historic Sites; Informal Education; Museums; Outdoor Activities; Science Instruction; Standards.
Dugas, E. (2002). Physical education and informal education at school. Education et Societes, 2(10), 21-34.
The author carried out a research program in the domain of physical education to test the role played by the teacher during his interventions in a varied number of physical recreational situations (traditional games, sports, & obstacle courses), & he questioned whether pupils can obtain any significant learning without the teacher actively intervening with his teaching skills. In other words, can pupils manage to achieve progress in a physical activity in an informal learning setting based on an experimental approach? This study tested & analyzed two different kinds of teaching: recreational (informal learning) & comprehensive (formal learning). The results revealed that when there was no particular educational approach by the teacher, the children, nevertheless, progressed. Of course, formal learning favors learning too, & does so to a greater effect. However, the facts support an interpretation that indicates that the precise & structured intervention of a teacher putting his educational skills to work is very useful for his pupils, but not indispensable to their progress in recreational physical activities.
KEY WORDS: Physical Education; Teaching Methods; Learning; Students.

Dunst, C. J., Bruder, M. B., Trivette, C. M., Hamby, D., Raab, M., & McLean, M. (2001). Characteristics and consequences of everyday natural learning opportunities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 21(2), 68-92.


Relationships among different person and environment characteristics of everyday natural learning opportunities and changes in child learning, behavior and performance were examined in a study with 63 parents and their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities or delays. Findings showed that learning opportunities that were interesting, engaging, competence producing, and mastery-oriented were associated with optimal child behavioral change.
KEY WORDS: Disabilities; Educational Environment; Experiential Learning; Family Environment; Infants; Informal Education; Learning Activities; Parent-Child Relationship; Parents as Teachers; Preschool Children; Toddlers; Natural Learning.

Eraut, M. (2007). Learning from other people in the workplace. Oxford Review of Education, 33(4), 403-422.


This paper draws primarily on an ESRC- TLRP longitudinal study of early career professional learning, which focused on the first three years of employment of newly qualified nurses, graduate engineers seeking chartered status and trainee chartered accountants. The first section introduces the theoretical and methodological base provided by previous projects, then proceeds to explore an epistemology of practice, using three dimensions: ( 1) four key elements of practice - situational assessment, decision- making, actions and meta- cognitive monitoring; ( 2) the mode of cognition and its dependence on time and prior learning; and ( 3) the context, its influence on mode of cognition and its affordances for learning. The central section presents the project's findings on modes of learning through a new framework, which divides learning processes according to whether the object is perceived to be learning or working, then adds a list of shorter learning activities used within both types of process, including various types of mediating artifact. The final section summarises the project's findings on factors affecting learning, then draws practical conclusions from the project's work.
KEY WORDS: Engineering, Learning, Longitudinal, Nursing, Professional, Workplace.

European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. (2007). Recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning for VET teachers and trainers in the EU Member States. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.


The aims of the project was to provide an overview of approaches and methodologies implemented at a national level to describe and analyze good examples and to identify common transnational issues. The final report includes 33 case studies and recommendations from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Lithuania, and United Kingdom.
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