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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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Models of Program Planning in Germany and in North America – A Comparison (Aiga von Hippel / Bernd Käpplinger)


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Aiga von Hippel & Bernd Käpplinger

Models of Program Planning in Germany and in North America – A Comparison

Abstract: The paper gives an overview by comparing different program planning models. Firstly, we will discuss generally and methodologically the basic requirements of models. Secondly, we will group models from the Anglophone and German context under two differenct perspectives. Two program planning models from Caffarella and Gieseke will be criteria-based compared in relation to differences and communalities. Finally, we will discuss the added value and the tasks of an internationally comparative program research.

1.  Models: Relevance and demands

Models are frequent features of educational research, ranging from the very basic ‘educational triangle’ formed by the three corner points of ‘teacher’, ‘learner’, and ‘content’ to very sophisticated models with different levels and diverse influences. Some scholars such as Reichenbach (2016) have cautioned that model building achieved by merely drawing ‘boxes and arrows’ should be not misunderstood as theory building. But what is the role of models in program research and what are general requirements for models?

In his general model theory, Stachowiak (1973, p. 131) defined three basic requirements for models. Firstly, models are representations of natural or artificial originals. Originals are segments of the world as they are perceived, experienced or defined by subjects. Models help subjects re-construct the world by representations of the reality or realities. Thus, a model says something about the world, but also...

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