How do both disciplines of Adult Education and Human Resource Development connect to adult learning? Both Adult Education and Human Resource Development attempt to work closely with adult learners to improve their academic and professional performance. They encourage adults to learn and perfect their skills on their own–hence, be more self-directed–and then apply their new skills to real-life situations, where they can manage others and/or problem-solve. Both disciplines study the strengths and weaknesses of adults and later use this newly-gained knowledge to help them polish their strengths and improve on their weaknesses (if necessary). Both disciplines take into account adults’ previous experiences, academic or professional, and strive to find the most fitting ways to encourage adults to be more efficient individual learners and team workers. Adults Education and Human Resource Development share “similar theoretical and philosophical foundations;” hence, they, just like adult learning, are multidisciplinary and can be applied in various areas, professional or educational (Reio, 2007). Describe how learning connects with your personal and professional performance that is related to your current or past work processes, your organization, or individual professional performance. When I was a young child, my parents would often tell me that what I learned at college–or, more specifically, what I majored in–would probably not end up being the thing I worked as. However, I find that to be quite wrong for me personally since the skills I’ve obtained and mastered throughout my education have, to a huge extent, helped me in all my work experiences. For example, my education has taught me how to be a critical thinker and an analytical writer, which are skills I have used frequently in my (somewhat of a) career and know that I will need in the future when I become an educator. I have also used the time management skills that being a self-directed learner has led me to develop in both my personal and professional life. Lastly, all the years I’ve spent at educational institutions have equipped me with a fair dose of common knowledge, which comes in handy no matter what I work, who I talk to, or which educational tasks I am tackling. Describe your perspective/personal position as it relates to the idea of adult learners controlling their own learning. I fully support the idea that adult learners should be able to control their own learning; after all, I believe they’re mature and experienced enough to know what is best for them and what can help them academically, personally, and professionally. I am a true supporter of Knowles’ suggestions that adults need to be able to control their learning environment, study subjects they’re interested in, and master skills they can apply shortly after for their education to be successful. Hence, speaking from personal experience, I have noticed I’ve been more driven to succeed academically when I have had the freedom to structure and model my education, while taking classes and researching topics of relevance and interest; partially due to my stubbornness, I suppose I have been far more successful as a self-directed adult learner then as a high school student when teachers “breathed down my neck.” Step 4 – Discuss & Respond How might you combine HRD and AE principles to meet the needs of adult learners as an administrator in your current or future place of employment? I would like to combine HDR and AE principles to establish a more productive and skill-oriented learning environment for adult learners. To do so, I would want to incorporate the principles of HDR and AE into the curriculum, and, if that has been done already, then polish the curriculum and ensure that adult learners are given the opportunities to be self-directed in their learning, but have supervisors around who can guide them if the need arises. Hence, by incorporating AE into the curriculum, I will ensure that adult learners can become more efficient and successful academically and by following the principles of HDR, I will make sure that adult learners will perform outstandingly even in their professional careers; while AE will focus on the individual development of adult learners, HDR will help teach them how to work with others to guarantee the growth of their corporations. A few simple ways in which I believe I can combine AE and HDR are: 1. having classes that are structured upon AE principles and focus on learning and improving one’s individual strengths and weaknesses; 2. having courses that are structured around HDR principles and tend to focus on application of skills; 3. establishing a seminar for all adult learners that aims to distinguish between AE and HDR skills, encourage adult learners to apply their knowledge and skills by helping them find extracurriculars and employment, and help them achieve both their educational and professional targets. Describe the relative ease and difficulty of adults controlling the various learning phases (need, create, implement, and evaluate). It is a well-known fact that adult learners are typically responsible and mature enough to direct their learning processes; however, when they have to tackle their personal life, work, and their educational career at the same time, they might find this relatively challenging. Therefore, although adults need to be able to be self-directed in their education, (meaning they can assert a certain degree of control over the various learning phases), they should still be supervised by professors and advisors who can help guide them. The first phase of learning–the need to learn–is a phase that adults will have little to no difficulty with; after all, their life experiences will guide them towards classes and careers that fit their characters and academic/professional motivations. Therefore, I do not find it that educators should dwell on this phase too much–they can trust Knowles’ principles and expect their students to come to the classroom with a clear idea of what they want to learn, why they would want to learn it, and how it would help them in the long term. The second phase of learning–the need to create–is a phase that encourages students to question, wonder, learn. Hence, I believe that this phase should be more self-directed. Adult learners should not face that many difficulties navigating through this stage. The third phase of learning–implementation–is the step where adult students can learn from trial and error. They can attempt to try implementing their skills on their own; if they experience hardships or fail, however, their educators will be there to help them. This is why I find that this specific phase can be the most challenging phase for adult learners, as they have to finally put their knowledge into practice. The fourth and final phase–evaluation–is a phase when I believe, students and teachers should work together. Sure, instructors may allow their students to pick their own methods of evaluation, but their educators should have a say in the matter. After all, educators are professionals and know that education must ultimately be a student’s preparation for real-life; hence, in real life–and in one’s career–people do not always have the right to choose the ways they demonstrate their competence. References: Andragogy (Adult Learning). (2010, May 17). [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLoPiHUZbEw&feature=youtu.be Caruso, S.J. (2012). What is human resource development? [Video]. Youtube (3:43). Graham, S. (2017, May 22). A simple, easy to understand guide to andragogy. Cornerstone University. Reio, T.G. (2007). Exploring the links between adult education and human resource development: Learning, risk-taking, and democratic discourse. New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, 21(1/2), 5-12.https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ983862.pdf Sunyoung Park, M.H. (2016). We knew it all along! Using cognitive science to explain how andragogy works. European Journal of Training and Development, 40(3), 171-190.https://education.biu.ac.il/sites/education/files/shared/we_knew_it_all_along_using.pdf
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