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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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Understanding Need in Program Planning within the Context of Career Based Basic Education: Insights from the USA (Amy D. Rose / Marion Fleige)


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Amy D. Rose & Marion Fleige

Understanding Need in Program Planning within the Context of Career Based Basic Education: Insights from the USA

Abstract: This article examines some of the ways that the idea of need has been conceptualized in the program planning literature in the USA. It then moves to a brief discussion of the ways that this concept of need has affected policy and the development of vocational and jobs-related programs in the U.S.


Program planning or program development in the USA has a long and deep history within adult education. Some would argue that it is the primary skill necessary for adult education. In essence, it is connected to curriculum design, but is broader than curriculum. Both however, began with the same structure or model based on Ralph Tyler’s model of curriculum design. Tyler was to trying to introduce a different way of thinking about curriculum. He felt that teaching needed to be evaluated based on what was actually taught. In order to figure out outcomes then, educators needed to follow a particular process that included: deciding on the needs of the group; designing a learning activity appropriate to the needs of the group; offering that activity; and evaluating based on whether the desired outcomes were achieved.

Program planning models have been adapted from this basic approach to curriculum design. The same basic steps were followed by program planners as they developed...

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