ERIC Number: ED404569
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Adult Learning in Groups. Practice Application Brief.
To develop adult learning groups in formal educational settings, the educator must understand the nature of learning in groups. Three types of group learning are instrumental, communicative, and emancipatory. The type of learning that occurs in groups varies according to the learning tasks and goals. Group learning that has as its goal the acquisition of instrumental knowledge is cooperative. The term collaborative describes group learning based on communicative knowledge. Transformative applies to learning groups that seek emancipatory knowledge. Cooperative learning focuses on the learning of individuals; as groups engage in collaborative or transformative learning, the distinction between individual and group learning becomes more invisible. The facilitator fosters, assists, supports, and helps with accomplishing learning tasks by sharing responsibilities with learners; establishes and maintains the group learning environment; and provides information about the group process. The facilitator's roles and responsibilities change to correspond to the group's purposes and goals. Size is an important characteristic of groups, with smaller groups (six or less) being more cohesive and productive. Facilitator-selected groups tend to perform better. Important considerations when structuring group learning for adults are the experience's purpose, an appropriate role for the facilitator, and group formation. (YLB)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
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.