ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Adult Learners: An Afterthought of America’s Education System

Updated on November 13, 2014
Source

by Amber Maccione

According to an article written by Frank DiMaria, the American Education System is failing the adult learning community, which includes people like immigrants, single mothers on welfare, and individuals without a high school diploma (DiMaria, 2007). The problem he states is that the goal of educating adult workers does not conjoin with the structures of obtaining a college degree (DiMaria, 2007). Research shows that there are 54 million adults without a college degree and 34 out of those who have had no college experience (DiMaria, 2007). Through Lumina Foundation for Education, research has been conducted to show seven areas of concern, risk factors of adult learners, and four areas where post-secondary schools can improve to better serve adult learners (DiMaria, 2007). The conclusion of the research done about the adult learner is that adult learners are just afterthoughts of the American Educational system, which is ironic since this group is at the most risk for failure since they have other responsibilities such as work, family, and social on top of earning a degree (DiMaria, 2007). The system that is in place is built for the traditional student and the adult students are not able to adapt because of their lack of resources (DiMaria, 2007).

Adult Learning

DiMaria’s article defines the adult learner as someone who is at risk of failure because the learner has to balance work, family, and social commitments alongside the pressures of completing assignments for a college education (DiMaria, 2007). He also states that the adult learner has fewer resources, needs guidance, and is poorly understood (DiMaria, 2007). Andragogy, on the other hand, paints a different picture of the adult learner. Andragogy states that there are six principles that make up the adult learner: they are internally motivated and self-directed, they bring life experiences and knowledge into the classroom, they are goal and relevancy oriented, they are practical, and they like to be respected (Merriam, Caffarella, Baumgartner, 2007). Both paint a different view of the adult learner with one being focused on the adult learner who needs someone to walk them through the college experience and the other as painting them as self-sufficient and self-directed in their learning.

Source

Although DiMaria does base his thoughts on research conducted, it seems that his research is one sided in that it looks into the lower socioeconomic and minority groups for the adult learner, whereas, androgogy looks at middle to upper class white America. Therefore, both are correct. It is like having five blind men feel an elephant. Each one will have a different consensus because they are not seeing the elephant as a whole but only by the area they feel. There are many adult learners, therefore, there cannot be a set of rules that helps us understand them completely. The lesson as DiMaria states is that there is “no typical adult learner” (DiMaria, 2007). Through researching each group of adult learners, we are able, like the blind men, to start to understand each type of adult learner and how to better assist them. Although DiMaria’s article says that America’s educational system is failing the adult learner, colleges and universities are proving that wrong as more and more adults are entering post-secondary schools and these schools are fulfilling their needs with helping them get credits to be promoted at work and also classes online, on weekends and evenings, and also hybrid to help fit the adult learners busy and complex schedules.

Do you feel adult education seems to be more of an afterthought within the American educational system?

See results

References

DiMaria, F. (2007, Sep 10). Adult learners: Mostly misunderstood and underserved. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education,17, 15-17. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/219221034?accountid=39364


Copyright © 2014 http://ambercita04.hubpages.com/ All Rights Reserved


© 2014 Amber

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)