Adults Learning

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It is important that learners and resource persons report on their experiences and share their experiences to find appropriate solutions. Thus a workshop becomes a "learning cooperatives. Participatory training is based on mutual respect Learners always need a opportunity to first unlearn and then relearn. Both processes imply a deficiency and can be highly threatening to a person. In order to accept criticism, learners must feel accepted as they are, must be encouraged to run risks and to accept support. The atmosphere in a workshop must be such that participants enjoy learning and feel comfortable and confident that, whatever happens in training, will not be used against them.

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In participatory training trainers are a team of facilitators In participatory training the trainers' behaviour and value system is as important as his professional knowledge and his teaching abilities. In workshop settings trainers should work as a team of facilitators, open to self-criticism, ready to support each other without becoming defensive against participants.

The team of facilitators should be present throughout a workshop from its beginning to the end. The venue is of great influence on the learning process The venue should facilitate an uninterrupted learning process.


It should be outside major towns, where participants, free from daily obligations, can exchange their experiences and cooperate in finding solutions. It will usually be a residential setting so that the learning co-operative becomes a captive audience. Participatory training is based on feedback Nobody is perfect! Feedback is necessary not only to adapt an ongoing workshop programme to the learning needs and progress of participants but also to learn from past workshop experiences in order to prove future programmes.

This can be done by appropriate methods of internal evaluation be it formative during the workshop or summative at its end. A model to combine principles of adult education and participatory training with production The Action Training Model is meant to train adult educators. It takes into consideration how adults learn and is based on the principles of participatory training.

The emergence of the model The Action Training Model ATM grew out of the need to assist adult educators and development workers to cope with specific tasks for which they had no specific training, e. In contrast to the well known "all-talk seminars and no-work-workshops" the Action Training Model combines training with action and production.

In a workshop setting participants get the necessary know-how to elaborate a concrete product, be it an evaluation report or a distance education unit - and they do it.

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They do the "real thing" not just an assignment for the wake of training. The skills learned are acquired within the framework of production. As this is not feasible within a two weeks training setting of a workshop, the model combines collective training in a sequence of workshops with individual work under guidance at the place of work, or in the field. This combination of inter-learning and cooperating in workshop, settings on the one hand with individual work under guidance at the place or work on the other is the essence of the Action Training Model.

It should be noted, that the Action Training Model does not imply to specifically "go to the field" as it is the case in operational seminars. Te go to this field is not an extra and artificial activity.

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The model makes some important assumptions about delivery and design of training Bhola. The assumption here is that adults who are at work cannot spare much time for time for long-term training courses and that training for this group must be practical and tailor-made to assist them in fulfilling their daily duties. In a first workshop of about two to three weeks duration participants get a systematic introduction to the subject matter e.

After the first workshop they go back to their places of work and collect data in the field or develop instruments to test their units or booklets. They do this under guidance of experienced resource persons. A few months later they come for a second workshop, a "mid-term panel", and present their data collections or tested distance education units. They get information on data organization and analysis and they organize and analyse their data or they get feedback from peers and resource persons on their test instruments and how to use them.

After the mid-term panel participants write their evaluation reports or test their units. In a third workshop they present their evaluation reports for discussion or their distance education units for further review refinement and editing.

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Thus, participants can follow a training course of up to one years duration without being absent from their places of work for more than five to six weeks. The time in-between the-workshops is filled with work on a concrete project. However, to finalise the project means longterm commitment both by the participants themselves, by the group of resource persons who have to assist participants, and by the institutions participants come from who have to give all necessary support. Assumptions in design of training The training design is based on the principles of adult learning and participatory training.

The model combines training and action All training takes place in the work context of participants. Each participant is working on a concrete task, an evaluation proposal, a unit of a distance education course or a booklet for new readers. All learning is active learning, is learning by doing. The model is learner-centred Participants are being confronted with problems they face in their daily work situations and they get guidance on how to solve some of these problems. Their experience becomes a learning tool, their needs the focus of learning process. The model is based on systematic learning Participants become familiar with the subject matter by through it systematically and a concrete task step by step.

To facilitate this process special handbooks are developed by the facilitators. These handbooks guide the participant through all the necessary steps and give a complete overview on the subject matter including some theoretical background so that the actual workshop programme can make some selective choices in presentation of the subject matter by focusing on certain aspects and specific needs of participants. The model is flexible and based on active involvement of all participants All participants are actively involved in planning, executing and evaluating their own learning process.

The first workshop begins with an analysis of needs and interests of participants followed by a process of "needs negotiation" to harmonize interests and needs as voiced by participants with the state-of-the-art of the subject matter and the requirements of a structured and systemic learning process. While the topics to be dealt with are defined to some extent by the state-of-the-art of the subject matter, the programme schedule is kept open and flexible. The schedule is being developed in a daily process of adaptation of what has to be learned to progress of the learning process and difficulties participants face.

The curriculum of each workshop is being "re-invented" in the actual teaching-learning process.

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This re-invention does not only validate curriculum choices but also aids participants to claim ownership of the programme. To re-invent the workshop programme is the task of the steering committee in which all faculty members and a number of delegates from the learners cooperate to review the programme of the day and to plan for the following day. The model is based on social learning The learning process does not only have a participatory element, it has a collaborative element as well.

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Participants work together in groups, they get assistance and feedback from the group. The social architecture of the workshop develops a cohesive community of learners, a "learning co-operative" who can stand the "pressure-cooker effect" of sometimes a fifty to sixty hours week of work on a specific task. The model aims at successful learning Participants get all possible assistance individually and as a group within and outside workshop settings to complete their tasks. A system of continuous feedback from participants has been developed through the steering committee, through reporting back sessions on groupwork in plenary, through individual guidance by resource persons, through critical review of the products of participants by peers and by resource persons.

This feedback system combined with summative evaluation of each workshop is an, essential element of continuous programme review and improvement. It is not only a reliable test instrument of what each participant has learned and achieved. It contributes considerably to the success of the learning process. The Action Training Model is applicable in a variety of settings in formal training within universities and specialized training institutions and in non formal settings for staff development in education, health, business, government and the like.

It is a challenge to the "all-talk seminars" and "no-work workshops". For the learners as well as for the team of resource persons who have accepted this challenge, it can be an experience of high satisfaction.

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This feature: Muller, J. Adult education and development p. Muller The theories of lifelong education and of life-span development may have been the most important theoretical contributions to adult education in recent years. Who is an adult? Within the pages of the new Calderdale Adult Learning brochure, you will find out how to: improve your career prospects, gain new qualifications, reap the benefits of volunteering, take up new hobbies and much more.

Select one of the following course categories, or use our full course search. At Calderdale Adult Learning, we have part-time courses to train you in everything from massage to cake decorating. Perfect for those who may know a vulnerable adult who is keen to expand their horizons and try something new!