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ERIC Number: ED459323
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Balancing Act of Adult Life. ERIC Digest.
Kerka, Sandra
Life is more complex than ever for adults in the 21st century as a result of technological advances; the changing nature of work, workplaces, and working relationships; international economic competition; the changing demographics of workers, families, and communities; and longer life spans. Learning to cope with all these changing responsibilities and roles constitutes "the hidden curriculum of adult life." A selection of adult education approaches can be used to help individuals negotiate the curriculum of life challenges. In the 1990s, work-life balance was in vogue, with programs aimed at helping people cope by developing skills in communication, interpersonal effectiveness, and life management or family-career management. The framing of imbalance as a problem and balance as the desirable and achievable alternative suggests that there is an ideal and that our attempts to live up to it are deficient. But who gets to define what work-life balance is? Newer approaches to adult education suggest that instead of merely informational learning, adult education should be transformational. Equipped for the Future (EFF) is one framework developed to help adults integrate their learning in four categories: communication skills, decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, and lifelong learning skills. An Australian framework also takes a transformative approach, with key principles including multiplicity, connectedness, critical intelligence, and transformation. Working toward integration requires transforming our perception about life roles. Transformative learning involves questioning our assumptions and a fundamental rethinking of premises. We need to draw on what we know and how we know it in order to handle the demands of contemporary life. (Contains 14 references.) (KC)
For full text:
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.