Definition Of Adult Education
Adult education refers to an education, course or training programme that is designed for adults and lasts at least six hours. It can also be defined as the provision of instructed learning events for adults who usually act or have acted in working life after earlier terminated or interrupted education within the regular education system.
It is characteristic that adult education is arranged and organised specifically with adults in mind. Differences in education within the regular education system can be such as the time and modes of instruction.
In the Adult Education Survey, adult education is defined based on the organisation providing education and training (educational institution, training organisation or another such training organiser).
Why is Adult Education important?
1. People will have an opportunity to continually learn and develop their skills and capacities.
2. Make our economy grow and develop.
3. Ensure that their children develop a love of learning and take full advantage of education.
4. Actively participate in their communities and civil society.
5. Support and respect people with different cultural beliefs and abilities.
6. Respect and protect the environment for future generations.
7. Nurture creativity and imagination.
8. Live healthy and fulfilled lives.
So Investing in adult education makes sense for individuals, families, communities and our country as a whole.
Advantages of Adult Education
Distance education via computers and the internet has made the distribution of information quicker and more efficient and provides the flexibility needed to allow adults to continue to work full-time and learn at a self-imposed pace. There are many sources of financial aid offered to adults wishing to go back to school.
People also fear that they are or are not qualified for the variety of aids offered to students such as; grants, low-interest loans, scholarships, etc. Some don’t know that these aids are given out regardless of credit, GPA or income level, and they miss out. Part-time students can also apply for these aids. Additionally, many companies will offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees wishing to further their education in that respective industry or as stipulated by that company.
Adults starting new or returning to school most often have found within themselves a strengthened desire to succeed. Studies have shown that 80% of adult students graduate as compared to a 50% average graduation rate among traditional students.
Adults have a bank of knowledge from life or work experience that can contribute to what they will learn in school. This is a fantastic advantage over their younger peers. Adults also view their professors as peers and are less intimidated by them.
Higher education for an adult is a life-changing experience. Most often, adults go to school to further their education in hopes of a salary increase, chances for promotion, or they go to school for a change, hoping to enter into a better field or pursue a field that they have a deep-rooted passion for.
Disadvantages of Adult Education
Feeling out of place upon returning to school later in life is common. For some high school seniors, the notion of going immediately to college isn’t appealing. However, many people who opt not to go to college out of high school decide later in life that more education can increase pay and career options. These are strong motives, but returning to school later in life does have some challenges.
Students who take the traditional college route often have the advantage of financial and emotional support from family. When you return to school later in life, though, you must often balance education with a job and family responsibilities.
Adult students commonly work full-time jobs during the day and take classes or complete work in the evenings and on weekends. They must also figure out how to work on parenting obligations and balance responsibilities with a spouse.
Feelings of Inadequacy
Adult, non-traditional college students are often more motivated to earn a degree than students fresh out of high school, but often they must overcome fear or discomfort in the classroom, according to a July 2011 FOXBusiness article. Adult students are often the minority in college classes. While some seize the opportunity to learn from younger cohorts, others may feel inadequate or uncomfortable learning the same information or skills as traditional-aged students. Getting over this fear or uncertainty quickly is key to success.
Rusty Study Habits
Despite their motivation, adult students often experience a period of rustiness in the classroom and with study habits upon returning to school. When you have been out of the classroom for several years, it may take a while to get familiar with the process of listening to instructors, taking notes, participating in group activities, reading assignments and studying for tests. Also, depending on the length of the absence, some students struggle to adapt to new teaching styles and learning methods that have evolved since they previously attended school.
In some cases, adult college students are at a disadvantage simply because of the focus of a class or instructor on traditional students. Some schools have programs and courses set up specifically to accommodate non-traditional learners. The online curriculum has grown largely for this purpose. However, adult students may experience courses or assignments designed to serve the particular needs of young adults transitioning from high school to adulthood. Classes in career or employment skills, for instance, are often required in business-related degree programs. Some non-traditional learners find that such classes lack value for adults with established professional careers. However, an updated course curriculum can help overcome this issue.