ERIC Number: EJ866281
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 1
Whatever Happened to Learning?
Moore, Honour H.
Journal of Continuing Higher Education, v57 n1 p40-41 2009
Twenty-five years ago, when the author began her career in higher education, it seemed to her that adult students started or went back to college because they wanted to learn. Either they felt something missing in their lives, that they hoped an education would provide, or they had a hunger for something beyond the mundane. In either case, for the most part, the adult students the author encountered in the late 1980s were in school because they wanted to be. Few received tuition reimbursement; in fact, many were not working full time. While some received partial financial aid, almost all paid for a significant portion of their education out of pocket. There is no question that today's adult learner is feeling tremendous pressure from work, home, and other outside pressures. None of the students the author currently works with can afford to take time out of their lives to go to school full time. Many rely on tuition reimbursement, which does place a premium on A grades, or financial aid, in the form of loans, or on both. Higher education is a huge investment, in many cases at least the equivalent of buying a car, but what should continuing education professionals expect of these students? How then do they encourage adult students to be interested in the pursuit of learning, not just in chasing a piece of paper? In this paper, the author contends that in today's society that is driven by credentialing, where grades and degrees earned matter, educators can model the ideal of an educated person. The author stresses that continuing educators could create a focus on learning, rather than mere credentialing, if they could encourage their institutions to evaluate learning in ways other than letter grades, such as Pass/Fail options. In looking toward the future, educators could bring about a return to learning by turning the focus away from grading, and returning it to where it belongs, the pursuit of knowledge.
Descriptors: Continuing Education, Adult Students, Student Educational Objectives, Educational Benefits, Educational Strategies, Behavioral Objectives, Educational Objectives
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A