Learning with Adults: The Role of Practice in the Formation of Adults
Practice has for a long time been an important feature of adult learning and the debates centering around this field. It is common to attach importance to this aspect of an adult’s learning and life trajectory in evaluations of university programmes focusing specifically on adults. The emphasis here is on engaging the adults’ life experiences. This is based on the belief, following Freire, that the starting points of effective learning are the learners’ concrete existential situations. With this view in mind, different sites of practice (family, work, communal etc.) are regarded as important sites of learning. Furthermore there has been a long series of debates around ways and means of evaluating and validating practice, especially in the area of prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR). Validation packages have also been the outcomes of projects for this purpose. A lot of adult education takes the form of attempts to learn to be able to tackle immediate goals, both individual and communal. Hence relevance becomes an important feature. By relevance one means a strong connection between learning and life.