Nation Building through Andragogy and Lifelong Learning: On the Cutting Edge Educationally, Economically, and Governmentally

Nation Building through Andragogy and Lifelong Learning: On the Cutting Edge Educationally, Economically, and Governmentally

John A. Henschke (Lindenwood University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2181-7.ch030
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Abstract

This chapter addresses the author’s international experience of and involvement in the very essence of exemplifying my conception of the following in various countries around the globe – nation building through andragogy and lifelong learning: on the cutting edge educationally, economically, and governmentally. Although I have been privileged to engage adult learners in research and learning experiences in a dozen countries through andragogical and lifelong learning processes, the chapter presents only a sketch of the author’s personally unique approach of work and learning in what he calls nation building with people in five countries: Brazil, South Africa, Mali, Thailand, and Austria. The purpose is to clearly articulate some of the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the most successful facilitation activities of helping adults learn in such a way that any adult educator, who may be disposed and committed to do so, could learn these processes and replicate them with others.
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Background

A popular definition of andragogy comes from Knowles (1970, p. 38), “The art and science of helping adults learn.” My own attempt at a definition goes something like the following, “A scientific discipline for the study of the theory, processes, technology, and anything else of value and benefit including learning, teaching, instructing, guiding, leading, and modeling/exemplifying a way of life, which would bring adults to their full degree of humaneness.” And if we add lifelong learning to this, we could add the words ‘throughout life’ at the end of these definitions.

Others may bring forward their definitions, so in my estimation varied definitions are acceptable for a field of study as diverse as adult education and lifelong learning. Other words we use have numerous definitions and we still use them while they are included in our dictionaries. Consequently, for this discussion, the above will suffice for broad definitions.

Perhaps Knowles (1970) articulated one of the most popular expressions of the concept of andragogy – which is about six assumptions and eight process elements. The assumptions are: Adults need to know why they should learn something; adults have a deep need to be self-directing; adults have a greater volume and a different quality of learning experience than youth; adults readiness to learn is tied closely with their needing to know or do something new in their life situation; adults enter into a learning experience with a task-centered orientation to learning; and, adults are motivated more by internal than external motivation. The process elements adults need are: Preparation for the learning; a climate conducive to learning; a structure for mutual planning; engagement actively in determining their learning needs; translating their learning needs into objectives; designing a pattern of learning experiences; conducting the learning experiences; and, evaluating the extent to which their objectives have been met (Knowles, 1990; Henschke, 2009b).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Lifelong: Lasting, continuous, permanent, wisdom, finding out, transitioning, throughout, long term, long haul, in it to stay.

Interactive: Joint, shared, mutual, give-and-take, reciprocal, interrelating, united, common, combined, concerted, pooled.

Andragogy: A scientific discipline for the study of the theory, processes, technology, and anything else of value and benefit including learning, teaching, instructing, guiding, leading, and modeling/exemplifying a way of life, which would bring adults to their full degree of humaneness.

International: Widespread, global, extensive, universal, far-reaching, ubiquitous, sweeping, wide-ranging, cosmic, global.

Building Blocks: Essence, substance, fabric, stuff, veritable, de facto, actual, warp-and-woof, bringing-together.

Infrastructure: Base, foundation, supporting structure, underpinning, framework, physical scaffolding, backdrop, elements which give context for life within a community.

Learning Society: A group of people who are bound together by a primary focus on learning as a major guiding principle throughout life.

Living Lecture: Vibrant, interactive, dynamic, alive, contending, grappling, agonistic, challenging, in the running, vying, engaging.

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