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Sheridan, J. (2007). Lifelong learning in a postmodern age: Looking back to the future through the lens of adult education. LLI Review, 24-16
The article presents a critical argument that the needs of students who are enrolled in adult education programs are different from those who are enrolled in lifelong learning programs. This is even though lifelong learning and adult education are often discussed under the same contexts. The content of the article is based on a review of research literature on educational theory and its application in adult education. The author employs research literature to present stakeholders of adult education with helpful lessons, such as the need to implement reforms in adult education methodology, pedagogies, and strategies.
The author recommends that adult education programs should adopt and implement democratic and collaborative learning practices, which are aligned with the needs of learners within the post-modern society. The author authoritatively calls for reforms in adult education, including the adoption of classroom features, such as round tables and seminar rooms, to meet the changing needs of the new generation students.
The article provides lessons that would influence changes in classroom culture within adult education settings. The author contributes towards adult education reform by explaining and demonstrating that adult education and training programs need to adopt collaborative strategies, which are motivating to the new generation of learners.
The article provides reliable evidence to justify reform in adult education and training strategies. For instance, the author demonstrates that traditional educational strategies, such as lectures, are not effective within the post-modern society because they do not empower learners to engage in participative and creative learning processes.
The article also contributes towards positive change in the administration and leadership of adult education, lifelong learning and training programs. The author recommends that the highest professional standards should be implemented in the administrative leadership of adult education and lifelong learning institutes. This is an important strategy of transforming adult education institutions into highly collaborative and democratic organizations and building learning environments that are rewarding to post-modern students (Blaschke, 2012).
The article contributes to adult education, lifelong learning, and training by providing justifications for re-visioning adult learning institutions. The author calls upon faculty members and students in adult education and lifelong learning programs to become co-participators and facilitators of the learning processes to effectively facilitate the acquisition of new skills and knowledge. The article also contributes to the development of an effective curriculum for adult education and lifelong learning.
For example, the author reveals that adult education, lifelong learning, and training programs should be designed in a manner that promotes cultural and social diversity. It is through this that adult education programs will become effective in providing individuals from divergent socio-economic and cultural backgrounds with equal opportunities for learning (Merriam & Brockett, 2011). The discussion within the article is reliable in informing adult education and lifelong learning practices because it demonstrates that education institutions should implement reforms as a prerequisite of meeting the diverse needs of post-modern students.
Analysis of Research
The discussion within the article is informed by reliable secondary research literature from a wide range of sources. The author relied on both books and peer-reviewed articles to support the main arguments of the article. This makes the conclusions and recommendations of the author valid and applicable in influencing positive change within an adult education and lifelong learning institutions and programs.
The explanations that the author uses to justify the need for reforms in adult education are in line with the empirical literature that is presented within the cited research articles. The article is useful reference material for the stakeholders of lifelong learning and adult education programs because the main arguments of the author are supported by empirical evidence on effective educational strategies, pedagogies, strategies, and approaches.
The author conducted in-depth research to authenticate the recommendations that are presented in the article. The research evidence that is cited within the article is relevant to the author’s discussion because it necessitates the achievement of the objectives of the study. Through secondary research approach, the author was able to identify gaps in the implementation of adult education and lifelong learning programs, which justify the suggestions that are put forth in the article for implementing successful learning methodologies, such as collaborative and participative education.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The article is comprehensive, well organized and objective in discussing the factors that determine the effectiveness of an adult education program and lifelong learning activities. The author clearly states the objectives of the research to successfully draw the attention of the reader and highlight the main arguments of the article. The author also acknowledges the sources of the information that is presented within the article. This makes the research within the article ethical and scientific. The discussion within the article is also easy to follow because its main arguments and recommendations are presented straightforwardly.
Secondary research allowed the author to come up with logical explanations and arguments on the changes that should be implemented within adult education institutions. However, reliance on past research on the topic under investigation makes the author’s arguments less current. This means that new developments in adult education and lifelong learning programs are not adequately represented within the article.
Also, the discussion within the article and the author’s recommendations are less specific because they are not targeted at a particular society. The policy implications of the recommendations that the author presents may not apply to specific educational systems. Therefore, the generalization of the findings within the article would make it less relevant in influencing reforms within specific educational systems.
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The article has broadened my knowledge of adult education. Through the evidence within the article, I can understand the factors which influence the effectiveness of adult education programs. My interest in unrolling learners into adult education programs is now more meaningful because the article allowed me to understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in implementing successful adult education activities. Reading through the article has enabled me to appreciate the importance of enrolling adult learners in educational activities that are aligned with their unique needs and preferences.
The convincing arguments within the article have also influenced me to become an active participator and facilitator of adult education processes, especially in enrolling learners into educational and training activities of their choice. I plan to implement the lessons that I have learned from the article to contribute actively towards positive change in the implementation of adult education programs. The article also allowed me to appreciate the importance of effective educational leadership and administration in adult education and lifelong learning institutions. Therefore the article has motivated me to pursue meaningful career growth opportunities in the enrollment of learners into adult education programs.
Blaschke, L. M. (2012). Heutagogy and lifelong learning: A review of heutagogical practice and self-determined learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(1), 56-71.
Merriam, S. B., & Brockett, R. G. (2011). The profession and practice of adult education: An introduction. John Wiley & Sons
Sheridan, J. (2007). Lifelong learning in a postmodern age: Looking back to the future through the lens of adult education. LLI Review, 24-16.