ERIC Number: ED385779
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Inclusive Adult Learning Environments. ERIC Digest No. 162.
Adult educators are recognizing that factors in the learning environment related to psychological, social, and cultural conditions exert a powerful influence on learners' growth and development. Current discussions on learning environments have broadened to include the need to confront issues of sexism and racism, interlocking systems of power and oppression, and social justice. In creating an inclusive learning environment, addressing institutional and societal levels is important, but the most significant level is the selection of appropriate materials and methods that address the characteristics of learning group members. Working toward the goal of creating an inclusive learning environment may give rise to some issues, especially those related to power and control. At the most basic level are the traditional power relations that exist between learners and teachers. The need to maintain a balance between being learner centered and learner positive can also be an issue. Suggestions to guide the development of inclusive learning environments include the following: acknowledge that all individuals bring multiple perspectives to any learning situation; recognize that a learner's claimed identity will be in response to many contextual factors that position the individual politically; reflect and value the experiences of learners; pay attention to power relations inherent in knowledge production; and acknowledge the power disparity between the teacher/facilitator and students. (Contains 14 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.