ERIC Number: ED315604
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-May
Reference Count: N/A
Student Autonomy in Adult Classes. Manchester Monographs No. 26.
"Autonomy" is an ambiguous term that can denote either the right of adults to manage their own affairs or their actual or potential ability to do so. These various senses of the word are regularly, and often indiscriminately, employed by adult educators. Personal autonomy is probably developed most effectively in a traditional kind of instructional situation, since people who initially lack the confidence or ability to undertake the management of their own education are likely to find the traditional situation a less threatening context in which to learn. A process of education that embodies the principles of individual choice, democratic control, rationality, and respect for persons in a realistic way can help adults to become more self-directing and more self-determining both in their thinking and in their behavior. However, there is very little scope for compulsion in adult education. Attendance is essentially voluntary and means of punishment or coercion generally do not exist. People who are not already autonomous and independent are unlikely to become so unless they feel they are learning in an environment where the process of personal change and its results will be accepted. Teachers seeking to promote the development of personal autonomy must be ready to challenge and provoke intellectually; to provide sympathetic emotional support; to provide additional educational help, such as basic study skills; and to consider the use of learning contracts. (A 58-item bibliography is included in the document.) (CML)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Educational Environment, Foreign Countries, Independent Study, Intellectual Freedom, Outcomes of Education, Personal Autonomy
Haigh and Hochland Ltd., Precinct Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9QA, England (2.50 pounds).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Manchester Univ. (England). Centre for Adult and Higher Education.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)