Adult Learning Essay 2

3808 Words16 Pages
Research Paper: Adult Learning

Education beyond high school, even beyond a Bachelors degree is a critical requirement to obtain a decent rewarding employment in today’s society. However, many individuals do not graduate high school or college for many reasons: unexpected pregnancies, lack of family support, need of financial aid, etc. These individuals who return to some kind of higher education later in life are known as adult learners, or the non-traditional students. Adult learners over age 24 currently comprise about 44 percent of U.S. postsecondary students. (Kahiz, 2007) These individuals make up a group of students who differ from traditional students. An adult learner possesses any of the following criteria: married or
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Brookfield (1995) states that, “adults face moments of transformative breakthrough, of empowerment, of emancipation and of liberation, what figure equally strongly in adult students’ accounts of learning, particularly those focused on critical reflection, are feelings of impostorship, acknowledgments of a disturbing loss of innocence, accountings of the cost of committing cultural suicide, descriptions of incrementally fluctuating rhythms of road running, and recognition of the significance that membership in an emotionally sustaining learning community has for those in critical process”. These stories are the dark weaknesses of the inspirational rhetoric of adult learning. Impostorship is the sense that one possesses neither the talent nor the right to become a college student. (Brookfield, 1999) While these students want to be in college, they secretly doubt their worthiness to be a college student and a critical thinker. Brookfield (1995) states that in his research, not all but most adults felt this sense of impostorship regarding the rightness of their taking critical perspectives on familiar ideas, actions and social forms. He also mentions that, this feeling does decrease over time, but it rarely disappears entirely. Brookfield (1999) also mentions that the moment of public
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