Can Corporate Training benefit from the application of Adult Education Frameworks? XXXXXXXXXXX
Submitted in partial fulfillment of
The requirements for
Academic Research and Critical Reflection in Adult Education Bachelor of Education in Adult Education Program
Centre for Adult Education and Community Outreach
Faculty of Education, Brock University
St. Catharines, Ontario
Since prehistoric times the ‘work’ of adults were taught to children to prepare them for adulthood (Sleight, 1993). As centuries passed, the kinds of work, the skills needed, and the tools used to do the new work had to change. In order to manage these changes in the complexity, volume, and content of work, job training evolved. "As man invented tools, weapons, clothing, shelter, and language, the need for training became an essential ingredient in the march of civilization" (Steinmetz, 1976). As tools became more complex, different ways of training developed to be more effective and efficient. "Instructional practices were developed that served the needs of the times, evolving into accepted instructional paradigms" (Berthower & Smalley, 1992). Training practices developed at different times, some have changed through the years, but it is claimed that all are still used today, depending on the training need and corporate situation (Sleight, 1993). “Training is different from education” (Sleight, 1993). Training teaches the learner to do a specific task, such as running a machine, or making a shirt while education is instruction in the more general knowledge of the society, such as the history of the society, or knowledge of mathematics (McGehee & Thayer, 1961). Nevertheless, (Harrison, 2005) argues that training and development is more than just teaching a task. Training and development (T&D) is an ‘organizational activity aimed at bettering the performance of individuals and groups in an organizational setting’. Garavan, Costine, & Heraty (1995) conclude that T&D encompasses three main activities: training, education, and development. They go on to state that to Human Resource practitioners, these are three separate, although interrelated activities. However, are they really? We know that research on learners has show that adults learn differently from younger students. “Adults have special needs as learners and these needs should be taken into consideration when planning training for adults” (Ota, DiCarlo, Burts, Laird, & Gioe, 2006). “By using combinations of adult learner techniques and strategies” (in their training), facilitators “can create training experiences that will enhance the learning of participants”. However, is this the case in today’s corporate environment? Are corporate training departments taking any adult educational approaches into the training classroom? Could the training experience in a company environment be more productive, enhanced, and rewarded by implementing key adult education approaches? Are the core principles of adult education lost to corporate trainers and management because their focus is strictly on productivity and not actual learning? This literature review examine works from the perspective of trainers, human resource departments, and educators who have written about current training trends and approaches and explores the lack of significant, successful workplace application of adult education framework and andragogy theories. Keywords: training, education, adult learners, corporate, adult education framework, andragogy Can Corporate Training benefit from the application of Adult Education Frameworks? Rationale Adult education theory is gaining momentum as increased numbers of adults are going back to school. I include myself in this group demographic. Adult are raising families, focused on jobs and if there is any time left for leisure and self-improvement, the ability to direct learning directly to their jobs is paramount...
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Garavan, T. N., Costine, P., & Heraty, N. (1995). Taining and Developemnt: Concepts, Attitudes, and Issues. Training and Developemtn in Ireland, 1.
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Sleight, D. (1993, December). A Developmental History of Training. Retrieved from Michigan State University: www.msu.edu
Sutton, B., & Stephenson, J. (2005). A Review of "Return on Investment ' in Training in the Corporate Sector and Possible Impications for College-based Programmes. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 355-375.
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