ERIC Number: ED284245
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Freirean Literacy and the Liberal Arts: Empowering the Returning Adult.
The "problem-posing" education model of Paulo Freire takes as its departure point the life experience of the learner, rather than the teacher's knowledge. Ursuline College (Cleveland, Ohio) created several courses for returning adult students that were based on Freire's ideas. One course called "Humanities Focus on Life" is for adults who are new to college life. Initial weeks are devoted to the development of language arts skills, and to the idea of group process. The first essay assignment is accompanied by teacher-led brainstorming sessions on possible topics and on audience and purpose, and students are also introduced to the processes of writing multiple drafts and group editing. Concurrent with this intensive instruction in communication skills, small group discussions initiate the process of confidence building, a major course goal. Students experience learning as a process of critical inquiry--the most important goal of the course--primarily through formal and informal discussions of the assigned texts. Attention is focused on problems that concern the author of the text under study, and students are required to relate these issues to their own experiences. Subject matter of the first set of texts--by John Stuart Mill, John Dewey, and Freire--and the first three essays is the relationship of education to experience and the nature of the learning process. Later authors studied include Herman Hesse, Carl Jung, and Plato. After completion of a final essay that articulates the learning experience by showing how the student's thinking has changed during the semester, a learning goal consonant with this new thinking must be identified and achieved in a few weeks time. Students who complete this Freirean model course understand that they are responsible for what they learn and that learning involves communication with others. (NKA)
Descriptors: Adult Learning, Adult Students, Communication Skills, Continuing Education, Course Content, Curriculum Development, Educational Philosophy, Higher Education, Humanities Instruction, Interpersonal Communication, Learning Processes, Prior Learning, Student Empowerment, Teaching Models, Writing Instruction, Writing Processes
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freire (Paulo)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (38th, Atlanta, GA, March 19-21, 1987).