ERIC Number: ED287977
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Oct-22
Reference Count: N/A
Profile of Excellence...Or Becoming a More Reflective Adult Education Practitioner.
Copa, Patricia M.; Sandmann, Lorilee R.
A study was conducted to determine what distinguishes the practice of competent educators from that of untrained persons or colleagues who are less skilled. The population for the study was cooperative extension educators. Five individuals identified by district and state leaders as being exemplary in their practice were followed for three days each, during which observations were recorded and formal and informal interviews conducted. In most cases, it was possible to observe all the individuals involved in teaching, program planning, staff meetings, and intra-agency activities. The five educators were chosen from a larger group suggested by one or more of the leaders to represent a variety of roles, full- and part-time positions, geographic areas, and years of service. The tapes and notes were transcribed and studied, revealing some common traits evident in these professional educators. The study found four primary themes that seemed to fit the educators: (1) an acute sense of context, (2) thoughtful loyalty to goals, (3) careful consideration of alternative means, and (4) reflective judgments based on balance. These themes did not exist in isolation, but were dynamically interwoven in the educators' personalities and teaching approaches. The study concluded that such reflective educational practices should be encouraged, and educators should be helped to remember the context of their work and to see themselves as facilitators. The appendix provides an example of one strategy toward educating a more reflective practitioner. (KC)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Educators, Educational Improvement, Extension Agents, Extension Education, Postsecondary Education, Program Improvement, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Role, Teaching Experience, Teaching Methods, Teaching Models, Teaching Skills, Teaching Styles
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Washington, DC, October 22, 1987).