ERIC Number: ED202993
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Phenomenological Perspectives in Adult Continuing Education: Implications for Research and Practice.
Some of the leading concepts of phenomenology have direct relevance for the practice of adult education. Adults bring to the learning experience a vast stock of assimilated knowledge. Very important to the process is the notion of critical reflection as a constituent of this stock of knowledge--the knowledge is not merely stored but is judged and reflected upon and stored in conjunction with other experiences. Our concern in adult education for self-directed learning recognizes the prime importance of the adult's individual stock of knowledge, and points the way to an alternative approach which, at the present time, is being obsecured by the competency-based systems and pre-packed standardized curricula that are prescriptive in design and smack of conventional schooling. Where formal classes are not already under way, basic adult education can emerge as a distinctive component of a community development project relating to such neighborhood concerns as housing, transportation, child-care facilities, and so on. Another phenomenological concept useful for thinking about adult education is the "natural attitude." In the natural attitude we suspend all skepticism concerning the existence of the events and objects of the outer world. In adult literacy programs, participants begin to explore those aspects of their day-to-day activities that are normally taken for granted. "Intentionality," the notion that adult learners themselves bring meaning to an educational occasion, is a further endorsment of the commitment to client-centered and self-directed learning. Investigations into our own experiencing through reflexive inquiry can add immensely to our insights into the adult learning process. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Coll. of Education.