For my inquiry project, I hope to explore pedagogical practices that support and empower adult learners. Additionally, I wish to learn about strategies that can help adult learners make the biggest strides academically. If research exists on the topic, I would like to specifically examine teaching and working with adult learners in the context of relatively informal reading and writing classes, and if possible in instances where the educator is younger than the students. This area directly relates to my placement at a women’s prison, and I would be keeping that in mind throughout my inquiry. While at my placement, I strive to be a learning ally, but I often wonder if women in the book club ever feel aggravated by the fact that that us Bi-Co students are often so much younger than they are, but have more power in how the group is run. I also wonder about selecting reading materials, and whether the women would feel comfortable saying that the selected book was too difficult for them. As I look forward to next year in which I will hopefully be continuing my work at the prison, I think it would be extremely interesting and beneficial for me to educate myself on the best ways to work with adult learners, and perhaps some of my questions will be answered along the way. I am not sure yet what form the final project will take, but I currently expect it would be a curriculum, research paper, or perhaps a guide that I could use to inform my work next year (along with other resources).
Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!