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Cultures of Program Planning in Adult Education

Concepts, Research Results and Archives


Edited By Bernd Käpplinger, Steffi Robak, Marion Fleige, Aiga von Hippel and Wiltrud Gieseke

This book is a unique approach in relating mutually international and comparative research from scholars on program planning for adults. Program planning is about needs, finding topics, making offers and bundling different contents. It makes organizations of adult education visible and contributes to their existence and is therefore a core activity of the professionals in adult education. The volume originates from an international conference hosted by Leibniz-University Hannover, which was organized by a plural expert group with key actors at Humboldt-University Berlin and the German Institute for Adult Education. The authors demonstrate the unique research method program analysis and present archives which offer an established infrastructure for heterogeneous research questions.

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Tackling the endpoint enigma (Ralf St. Clair)


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Ralf St. Clair

Tackling the endpoint enigma

Abstract: Presents a heuristic approach to the analysis of program outcomes, dividing outcomes into the dimensions of standards (the results of the educational experience) and demonstrations (how attainment of those results will be demonstrated). Sets out six categories for each of these dimensions to create a field of 36 possible combinations. Discusses the issues of multiple and conflicting endpoints, and looks at the value of deliberate manipulation of endpoints for educators and learners in shaping programs.

The enterprise of education changed considerably when the concept of learning outcomes was introduced in the middle of the 20th century. To this day the implementation of learning outcomes is not uniform. Some areas of education resist them on pedagogical grounds. Humanities, for instance, tend to be sceptical about the ability of the instructor or the learner to predict the knowledge outcomes of a learning process. In other cases, such as radical adult education circles, they may be seen as too prescriptive and constraining. Almost 70 years after Tyler’s (1948) initial formulation of education driven by objectives the ideas retain a degree of controversy.

Generally, however, practitioners do accept the prescriptions of an objective driven approach, where the educator (possibly in consultation with the learners) develops a set of desirable outcomes and a means to demonstrate their attainment. Very often the application of these ideas is relatively simplistic, and the complexity of creating and implementing...

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