ERIC Number: ED308373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Critical Theory and Adult Education: A Representative Literature Review.
The adult capacity for critical thinking has many implications for adult education, and it is on this capacity that some writers have pinned their belief that adult education (as opposed to schooling) can be a liberating--even emancipating--experience. (Critical thinkers are able to learn through the reflection of self and one's relationship to the world.) A frequently voiced implication is that adults' education must help them determine what is good because adults can build the world they want through their control of adult experience. Critically examining experience can lead to the awareness that actions could have been, and can be, otherwise. If they are to incorporate critical thinking, adult education situations should begin with the learner's reality and cover situations, not subjects, so that learners can reflect critically on their experiences and the experiences of others. Teachers of adults should attempt to close the professional distance between themselves and learners, so that they can become less concerned with transferring knowledge to learners and more concerned with creating knowledge and understanding by tacher and learner alike. Even technical skills and knowledge can be taught within a context that encourages critical thinking. Learners do not always want to think critically, so teachers must maintain a sense of their own limitations. Teachers who assume that their ideology--even if it promotes critical thinking--is the one and only true way of viewing the world are incompetent, not liberating, educators. (The document includes a list of 18 references.) (CML)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A