International and Comparative Perspectives
Making program planning more visible: what to do when they don’t know what they don’t know
← 182 | 183 → Bernd Käpplinger, Thomas J. Sork
Program planning is a typical form of action performed by adult educators despite a frequent lack of awareness. This core activity of professional practice mediates between needs, demand and provision. In contrast to programs in formal educational settings where the content is often fixed to established curricula, programs in adult education are much more open to creative and flexible designs. This chapter discusses the place of program planning in various competency frameworks and the degree to which curricula for the preparation of adult education professionals include the knowledge and skills required for effective practice. Examples used are drawn primarily from North America and Germany where significant literatures and research on program planning have developed over the past 50 years.
What does someone who calls themselves an “adult educator” need to know and be able to do in relation to the design of programs? In trying to answer this question, one can turn to the growing number of defined standards or competency frameworks and one can analyze the content of curricula for the education of adult educators. Our title suggests that, in many cases, those preparing to work as adult educators don’t know what they don’t know about planning programs and this, combined with lack of recognition of program planning in various competency frameworks and curricula means that the theory and practice of planning are often given little, if any, attention. We argue that this is a serious oversight...
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