Founder, U 3rd Age (Singapore), President, East Asia Federation for Adult Education (EAFAE), Treasurer, PIMA (Friends of PASCAL)
Shermaine Barrett had rightly mentioned that adult educators need to enhance their capabilities to teach inclusive learners. Adult educators can understand themselves through the reflexive process to engage learners professionally.
She quoted western’s ‘Four Layers of Diversity’ model (by Gardenswartz and Rowe), that knowing one’s teaching characteristic would enhance teaching diverse classrooms. Reflexivity thinking process will minimize bias and prejudices in facilitating learning. As a work-study practitioner (in the 1980s), I found it difficult to remove bias and prejudices in interactions with diverse work-teams. The same obstacle applies in learning environments. Perhaps, the western approach can be complemented by an eastern approach to tap on the inborn talents of adult educators for holistic teaching.
In one eastern (Chinese) thought, adult educators can be categorized into five roles; namely: Thinkers, Supporters, Creators, Connectors, and Managers (Joey Yap’s BaZi Career Options) based on individual’s inborn behavioral and characteristic traits. Briefly, the roles are:
Adult educators who know their dominant roles can be motivated and be effective in inclusive teaching.
Shermaine’s mentioned of knowing ‘…their students’ cultures…’ bring to my mind that many developed nations have well-crafted national policies on adult education, but has policy problems because rural suspicious and non-transparent cultural-political agenda. As population ages in developed nations, senior citizens become part of inclusive group. Their later life learning can contributed to social and cultural developments. But, in an analysis of Third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education – National Reports (GRALE III), only 13 nations (out of 195 UNESCO Members) select ‘senior citizens/retired people (third-age education)’ as one of their five target groups for adult learning and education; see table below:
|COUNTRIES (that gives priority to third age / later life learning in national policies|
TOTAL – 13 Countries
BaZi – a Chinese technique for matching-making and career profiling. Joey Yap’s ‘BaZi Career Options’ Module 6 course notes.
GRALE – See GRALE III monitoring survey data from: http://uil.unesco.org/adult-education/global-report-on-adult-learning-and-education/national-reports-grale-3.
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