The model for delivery of adult education instruction continues to evolve since it was first introduced during the American colonial period. Initially, adult learners received instruction in basic reading writing and math skills designed to support an agrarian, or farming, society. The advent of the Industrial Revolution saw instruction added to the model that provided skills training for specific factory job skills. Also, for the first time, adult education leaders saw a need for workers to receive training in recreational pursuits for the individual peace of mind. Hence, the general enrichment concept was added to the model.
During the years since World War II the individual job skills training function has given way to a formal process for work force training and retraining. This process has led to comprehensive instruction for a wide variety of industrial trades. Now known as Career and Technical Education (CTE), this component of adult education instruction has set the stage for the creation of technical centers, schools and colleges in which adult learners pursue instruction leading to certificates of accomplishment, associate degrees, or combination degrees through articulation agreements with universities. Many adult learners, having elected to enter the work force rather than attend post-secondary education immediately after high school, have been confronted with the need for more education to keep pace with the needs of society. The last couple of decades have seen the implementation of training programs designed specifically for those adults who did not attend a university or college to transition into that environment.
The current form of the adult education instructional model takes the academic preparation process, couples it with work force training and integrates them with planning, goal setting and staff advising into a comprehensive, life-long plan. This Individual Life Plan (ILP) is designed to provide individuals with a combination of knowledge, skills and an understanding of work place dynamics with the opportunity to not only obtain a job, but to pursue a life-long career. The concept, known as Career Pathways, is designed to provide adult learners with a flexible blueprint for exploration of a wide range of learning opportunities. This plan is a working document jointly created by learner and program staff and is, by nature and design, fluid. It can be revisited, reviewed and revised whenever the learner wishes.
The ILP addresses two major components that will focus on the accumulation of skills and knowledge necessary to assist the adult learner to prepare for a life-long career. The first is academic preparation. This component will address the formal learning that needs to be accomplished and could include basic skills, high school completion, college transition, or skills refreshers. The second component is work force and career exploration and skills development. This component will address the seven aspects of career exploration namely, career awareness, exploration, assessment, planning, career-related content, completion/certification and transition.
The remainder of the ILP document serves as a template for the learner to use in the development of a personal career guide. Once again, the emphasis on plan development is that it is flexible, not rigid; ever evolving rather than constant; and that it belongs to YOU rather than the local adult education program.
Posted by Darrell Gilman on September 3, 2013 | Read more in: News