Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Learning with Adults

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education

DESCRIPTION This study-unit serves as a general introduction to Adult Education. It is intended to provide some of the basic concepts in the field and some sensitivity to the issues facing adult learners in a number of settings, formal and non-formal. This builds on the introductory study-unit. To what extent are the skills involved in teaching adults different from those involved in teaching children? How does one engage adult learners' experience and perceptions? What do adults bring to the learning setting by way of cultural background, knowledge traditions and insights? How can the adult learners be learners and teachers at the same time? What roles do Museums play in the education of adults?

Study-Unit Aims:

- To introduce students to principles of adult education.
- To inform students of the differences involved when teaching people of different ages.
- To expose students to key concepts and thinkers in Adult Education.
- To recognise the cultures and knowledge traditions which adult learners bring with them to the museum.
- To recognise the role museums have in the education of adults through reflection on the relevant literature.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Analyse the ways that people of different ages engage differently with cultural displays.
- Describe the basic tenets of adult education and learning.
- Compare visitors' learning in different sites, the museum and heritage sites among them.
- Engage in participatory learning experiences , involving individuals and groups.
- Evaluate adults' experiences and the value of these experiences in learning contexts.
- Understand the problems associated with banking education.
- Understand the politics of adult education.
- Analyse his/her work of engaging pedagogically with adults as existing within a long tradition of adult education.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Engage effectively with adult visitors' experience and knowledge traditions.
- Develop the skill to communicate in a manner that suits the age experience and cultural capital of the visitor in question. Involves skills to switch language codes when dealing with adults and children.
- Develop the skills to foster new interpretations from the adults' reconstruction of meaning and significance.
- Encourage intergenerational learning in mixed groups consisting of adults, adolescence and children.
- Develop the skills to prevent certain adults, in group learning, from hogging the discussion to the detriment of others; they often, though not always, do so in a patriarchal manner.
- Engage the viewers' possible first hand experience of the object of investigation.
- Sharpen his/her question skills - not merely eliciting but also posing open ended questions that provide no straightforward answers but raise further questions.
- Make artefacts resonate with contemporary experiences.
- Challenge perceptions and assumptions to help foster a perspective transformation.
- Use the right adult educational terminology.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- English , Leona and Mayo, Peter (2012) Learning with Adults. A Critical Pedagogical Introduction, Rotterdam, Boston and Taipei: Sense Publishers.
- Mayo, Peter (Ed.)(2013) Learning with Adults. A Reader, Rotterdam, Boston and Taipei: Sense Publishers.
- Mayo, Peter (2017) Adult Education in Malta, Bonn: Dvv-International.

Supplementary Readings:

- Clover Darlene, Sanford Kathy, Bell Lorraine, Johson Kay ( Eds.) (2016 ) Adult Education, Museums and Art Galleries. Animating Social, Cultural and Institutional Change, Rotterdam, Boston and Taipei: Sense Publishers.
- Milana Marcella, Holford John, Webb Sue and Jarvis, Peter (Eds.) (2017) International Handbook of Adult Education, Basingstoke, London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Baldacchino, Godfrey and Mayo, Peter (Eds.) (1997) Beyond Schooling. Adult Education in Malta, Malta: Mireva.
- Chadwick, Alan and Stannet, Annette (2000) Museums and Adult Learning. Perspectives from Europe, Leicester: NIACE.
- Taylor, Edward W., McKinley-Parrish, Marilyn (Eds.) (2010) Adult Education in Cultural Institutions: Acquariums, Libraries, Museums Park, Zoos. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education. Number 27 San Francisco: Jossy Bass.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%


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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.