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International Adult Education as An Area of Study in Universities: Some Curriculum Issues.

McIntosh, Athalinda J. (1995) International Adult Education as An Area of Study in Universities: Some Curriculum Issues. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This research investigates curriculum issues for the study of international adult education in universities. Apart from a personal rationale for wishing to undertake the research, the internationalization of the curriculum has become a major issue in the literature of higher education in the 1990s, and the study of adult education curriculum development is part of that debate. The curriculum of universities has been criticized, in relation to the rational-empirical philosophy on which it is based; its lack of relevance to the members of the society / world in which it operates; its elitist Eurocentric, monocultural perspective to name a few. The study of adult education in universities is included in that criticism, even among its own professionals and peers. From what little has been written about the study of international adult education, it is clear that it is envisaged to address these issues. Since the second world war, there have been more adults expecting to participate in adult higher education and worldwide certain themes emerge to support a change in policy and practice of universities to accommodate them. Hitherto silent voices of the devalued Other, comprising women; coloured people; lower socio-economic groups are pressing to be able to benefit from university education in different ways for various functions throughout the world. Part of this tendency is the increasing awareness of the growing interdependence of people world wide for environmental, social, psychological, development education to instill the notion of global citizenship for mutual care and survival. Universities and their expertise in adult education can make a contribution to this task via its literacy programmes; its professional education for educators of adults; and its degree programmes. What is different about university adult education from other study areas in universities, is that it has always been to some extent practitioner led, and has valued student participation in, and relevance of, curriculum development and implementation. All of its students are non-traditional in terms of their age and expectations. Adult education study has been marginalised since its inception in many universities, to the extent that the extending of access of adults to any university courses are being seen as a part of falling standards in higher education. A historical precedent, however, has been set for the study of international adult education. A review of the literature identifies certain key curriculum issues to include such as education for peace; power and values and human rights education. The role of transmitted culture; development education and the ideology of needs are three major curriculum issues which pervade the debate on international adult education. The place of the reified discipline with its emphasis on objectivism and abstract theory is increasingly not suited to either the modern / postmodern idea of higher education, nor relevant for multicultural, multiethnic, pluralistic approaches consistent with the education of adults in an interdependent global culture, with its international educational requirements. In this research, some curriculum issues for international adult education as an area of study in universities are identified, and recommendations made for practice and further research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : McIntosh, Athalinda J.
Date : 1995
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1995.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 13:07
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 13:12
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/855942

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