ERIC Number: ED396277
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Whole Language and Adult Education: A Juxtaposition of Two Universes of Discourse.
Whole language, a theory of language instruction that was developed primarily in terms of helping children learn to read, has now been extended to middle- and secondary-school levels. Andragogy, the learning of adults, is a specific theory of adult education, conceived in contradistinction to pedagogy, the teaching of children. When these two universes of educational discourse are juxtaposed, however, the commonplaces of whole language and of andragogy as instructional theories are similar, if not identical. What began on one side as a theory about children learning to read, and on the other side as a theory about adults learning as adults, may be seen to coalesce in a statement about humans learning. In whole language students learn to read by reading whole pieces of enjoyable literature (authentic and meaningful texts) and maintaining the natural wholeness of language. The teacher in a whole language classroom is seen as a facilitator or demonstrator--an active participant in the learning community. Andragogical learning is also self-directed in the learner. The learner's own experiences are used as a rich resource for learning. In both environments, learning is focused within the context of the learner's world of reference, and the teacher is not the only source of truth. Learning becomes a collaborative transaction in which all work together, reading authentic/whole literature, producing individual real/authentic texts. (Contains 68 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A