About Adult Learning

About Adult Learning
Today much education, esp. in schools, is undertaken in classrooms with structured lessons and teachers in authority and exams at the end of it. Adults can learn this way however we prefer to learn as Adult Learners. Adults generally learn through building on their life experiences, and in undertaking team or group learning directed at concrete projects (such as we are talking about here in this Lay Forum project i.e. we as adults tend to use action learning.

Three types of Learning for and from life: To do this we need to consider learning as a (1) life-long learning and (2) life-wide learning and (3) life-deep learning process.

The former where we learn progressively throughout our lives (life long learning) the latter as we learn about related bodies of knowledge such as say carpentry and plumbing or related areas in a project such as design, admin, book-keeping, project management, accountability and so on (life wide learning). To these three we add the third (life-deep learning) and in particular this is what we are speaking of in this initiative.

Life deep learning then is about understanding at depth the other two and to grasp the layers of meaning that derive from our day to day lives and thus our day to day projects. So that when we undertake, for instance, a church based project there is a depth of possibility and potential that we can bring to bear on the problem the project seeks to address – it is not a kneejerk reaction or a superficial gloss. The possibilities emerge from the design of the project, the problem it seeks to address in some small local yet meaningful way and, our own life experiences and, commitment and compassion and expertise in assisting in its design and/or implementation.

So when we are undertaking action learning through a particular project we need to keep records and bare these three dimensions of adult learning in mind: life-long, life wide, and life deep learning.

See – ALA – Adult Learning Australia

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About Paul Wildman

Paul Wildman is founder of Kalgrove, Kids and Adult Learning, in Brisbane. Set in a grove of Australian gum trees Kalgrove manages child care and early learning centres and undertakes adult learning commissions. Paul also runs a niche publishing business Prosperity Press, publishing in futures related areas. From 1989-2001 he managed the Vocational Training area concentrating in Apprenticeships and Traineeships in Queensland. From 1994-97 Paul was lecturer at Southern Cross University (SCU) where he developed, and lectured in, Futures Studies (FS) then the only on line Masters specialisation in Futures Studies in the world. From 1990-94 Paul was State Deputy Commissioner for Training, and Director Employment in Queensland for TAFE. Here he was developing and implementing employment and training policy inc. access and community initiatives for State Government policy with indigenous Australians. He also undertakes research into youth and work futures. Website: kalgrove.com