Dorothy’s article, Seven characteristics of highly effective adult learning programs, is about the association that occurs between learning and growth. The author bases her arguments on the fact that today’s world is characterized by an accelerated rate at which technology and knowledge develop, and the fact that individuals need to continually rejuvenate their skills and knowledge in order to stay relevant. The author carried out a survey that was meant to determine the best environment for adults to learn and develop. The author discovered that learning must, and is usually closely associated with learning(Billington, n. d). This article will summarize in brief the contents of Dorothy’s article and relate the key information of the article with the common social and educational experiences at school.
After the research, the author came up with seven key factors that she believed stimulated the development in adults. The factors included an environment that supports the student, their uniqueness and, therefore, an environment that allows respects the students by offering them freedom in intellect, and an environment that allows students to be creative and to experiment; an environment that treats students as peers or associates; a setting that lets learners to be accountable for their own development and learning; an environment that provides the adult students with an intellectual challenge; an environment that allows students to be active participants; as well as, an environment that allows for regular mechanisms of feedback to be put in place for the students(Billington, n. d).
Dorothy argues that the environment plays a very essential role in the intellectual development and learning of an individual. Her arguments are that if a student does not feel comfortable enough, or respected, or threatened or unsafe then it is likely that those students will not effectively learn or develop as required. Any student can identify with her arguments. If a student does not have enough confidence in class, then it is likely that the student will fail in class because they do not participate adequately in class activities that help them understand. For example, I would not participate in class activities if the rest of the class laughed at my answers. I would also not feel comfortable, and; therefore, I would not be able to learn adequately if my teacher did not give me enough time to experiment and be creative about what I have learned in class. My peers are also highly significant in my learning process. If I am not a social person, and if the other students do not like, then it is possible that I would feel uncomfortable to participate in class and learn. If a student does not feel safe enough or respected enough in class, then their performance in class might deteriorate (Billington, n. d).
Annette Bell asserts in her article that the environment does affect our learning process. She also goes on and stresses some points expressed by Dorothy that, for students to learn, they must first feel comfortable with their teacher, with themselves and with the other students. She further points out, just like Dorothy, that students must be actively be engaged in their learning process, and that their learning environment must be supportive of their physical requirements for perfect development and learning. Further Bell points out that the classroom is very critical as it the environment where the construction of meaning of an individual takes place(Bell, n. d).
The environment has been indicated to be among the most essential requirements of effective learning and development in both children and adults. Dorothy points out that the environment must be conducive enough for the student to learn adequately.
Bell, A. (n. d). Creating a learning centred environment. Tompkins Cortland Community College. Retrieved from http://www.dialogueonlearning.tc3.edu/model/environment/introduction-grp.htm
Billington, D. D.(n. d). Seven Characteristics of Highly Effective Adult Learning Programs. Retrieved from http://home.avvanta.com/~building/lifelong/workplace/billington.htm
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