Focus on Basics Volume 5, Issue B: Adult Development

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As in most fields of research and theory, adult development has a variety of “camps”—different schools of thought on how adults develop—four of which are described by Lisa Baumgartner in the article that starts on page 29. Behavioristic / mechanistic; psychological / cognitive; contextual / sociocultural; and integrated, Lisa points out that our teaching choices reflect the school of thought we subscribe to, whether that subscription is conscious or not.

The NCSALL Adult Development Research Group takes that concept one step further. They suggest that, since adult basic education classes are comprised of learners at a variety of developmental levels, educators need to ensure that their program design and instruction supports learners at all developmental levels. Their research findings also reveal that the group plays an important part in supporting learners, regardless of developmental levels. Read about their research and related findings, then learn how Sylvia Greene and Matthew Puma, Massachusetts teachers, support the developmental growth of their learners in the interviews on page 23.

Carol Eades, of Kentucky, shares techniques she uses to support learners’ developmental transformation in the article that begins on page 26. At TV411, Debby D’Amico and Mary Ann Capehart explore the dynamics that occurred in a group of learners who, working with a facilitator, used specially designed television shows and related materials as instructional guides. See this article and a commentary on the developmental theories implicit in TV411 in the section starting on page 41. World Education, 2001.

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