Pre-apprenticeship Courses are courses designed to introduce prospective apprentices to the skilled trades. many are designed for specific groups that are not usually represented in the skilled trades such as women, aboriginals, and people from different ethnic backgrounds. Some are designed to help integrate people with barriers to employment such as drug or alcohol addictions into gaining productive employment.
In exploring trends in adult education I could not get over how the Internet is having such an incredible impact on the field of education. In the early 1980’s I took a distance education course from Athabasca Univerisity. Then we used the mail to submit assignments and the telephone for tutoring support. Today we have e-mentoring or telementoring which my partner and I explored at great depth, e-books that allow instant access to text books and save learners money, and a multitude of online courses and curriculums.
With advances in broadband internet, more and more wifi hotspots and the upgrades happening in cell phone technology we now have 24/7 access to the incredible resources of the Internet at our finger tips. These new technologies will only boost the impact of the internet and intensify the effect of online education.
How ready are instructors and educators to make effective use this learning revolution? One way we can find out is by using the self assessment tools available at adultedonline. The site has self assessment tools for both instructors and administrators to find out how tech savvy they are and to assess their potential and abilities to teach distance education. There is also an extensive list of links to online resources for people interested in this field.
I have set up an account but I think until I am further on in the PIDP program before I take the self assessment.
Mentoring – A New Approach
The concept of mentoring goes all the way back to ancient Greece when Odysseus asked Athena to take on the form of Mentor and guide his son Telemachus while he was away at the siege of Troy. Over the years this has been an important relationship for apprentices wishing to learn a trade as older journeymen take on the role of teachers and guides encapsulated in the concept of mentorship. Mentoring is also an important role that teachers and instructors in adult education can play in the lives of their students as this can be done outside of the classroom and after the student has graduated from the institution of learning.
Mentoring is also important to successful organizations wishing to educate and develop their employees. Traditionally junior employees would look to one senior employee to act as a sponsor and guide them in their career. In this article Drs. Kram and Higgins, two of the foremost researchers into the role of mentors discuss how the role of mentors is changing in our rapidly transforming society.
- Athena and Telemachus
- Demographic Trends for High School Students
- Industrial societies face an increasingly dire demographic challenge as their populations age. These challenges pose many demands on the educational system. A report from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) forecasts trends in high school graduate rates in the U.S. It finds that the number of white high school graduates has peaked and that any growth will come from student with Hispanic and Asian-American/Pacific Islander backgrounds.Growth rates for individual states fluctuate wildly, there is declining enrolment in the north east sector of the country and growing enrolment in the south west. The report does not predict a drop off in students seeking a higher education as states increase their efforts to enrol more students in colleges and universities. Also this is the only way that students can be assured of a comfortable future life.In an article by Greg Melleuish in The Australian he argues that one of the most significant development of the last ten years is that students are staying in school longer. He wonders how Australia will be able to support an aging population along with a larger population of “emerging adults” who are attending school.In his view “Policy should focus on skills attainment, not the acquisition of a piece of paper by a certain proportion of the population.” He feels that universities are better at training bureaucrats than entrepreneurs.Both articles describe a rapidly changing world in which adult educators will have an increasingly important role.
Adult Education in Wales
Here in an interesting anomaly from Wales. Despite an increase in investment in Adult Community Learning from 4.96m pounds in 2006-07 to 6.02m pounds in 2012-13, the number of contact hours dropped from 3.6 million in 2003-04 to 2.1 million in 2011-12. This is a 23% decrease from the number of post-16 learners from 2005-06 to 2010-11 in a climate of high unemployment in Britain.
Some reasons given were lack of relevant courses, demands on tutors and the difficult economic situation. I think what is interesting about this article is that governments must look at more than just funding levels when designing adult learning and review all the factors that impact on the participation of adults in accessing community learning.
The baby boomer generation is rapidly aging. The latest U.S. Census reports that 78 million Americans are approaching retirement age generally thought of as 65. With the demise of traditional defined benefit pension plans and many people with inadequate savings, more people are choosing to retrain and begin new careers, an encore career.
The following article describes how this can be an opportunity and how North Carolina is promoting and encouraging people wishing to pursue a new career path
Adult Education in Colorado
In an article in the Denver Post on January 3, 2013 reports on the increasing number of adults returning to school. As part of this trend adult undergraduates are expected to increase by 27% at four-year schools in Colorado. In addition the state is expanding the use of online courses. Colorado State University has established a new campus that is 100% online campus. The Global campus has regionally accredited programs and more than 7,000 students world wide and an average age of 35. In 2002 Statistics Canada reported that 4.8 million adult workers participated in formal job related training, an increase of 35% compared to 29 per cent in 1997.
Happy New Year
As we begin 2013 I am about to begin a new phase of my life as I start the first course in the Provincial Instructors Diploma Program, 3100 Foundations of Adult Education. This blog is part of an assignment for this course where I will reflect on what I am learning and how it is affecting me as a person.