Program Planning Which Approach to Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

A critical approach can enhance a naturalistic one also, by showing how race, class, gender, and social power influence self-esteem and motivation to learn.

3.If respected authority from each of the three approaches (classical, naturalistic, or critical) were invited to your agency to evaluate your agency's educational programs, what advice would each give to your agency? How would your agency likely respond to such advice?

A classical theorist would hold a formal seminar during which each participant would be given handouts. Handouts would include lists and outlines of suggested courses of action. A presentation would accompany the lecture, after which seminar participants would be allowed to ask questions in a traditional format. The authority would evaluate my agency's educational programs in terms of quantitative data. Assessment measures would guide further action. Most subjective input would be politely dismissed. The authority would ask program directors to come up with a formal plan detailing the objectives of the adult education project and any assessment measures used to evaluate its effectiveness. Our agency would respond well to the advice but it is unlikely that a purely classical approach would help.

A naturalistic authority might also hold a formal lecture or meeting but the tone of the seminar would be less formal than the one held by the classical authority. The naturalist might suggest handing out questionnaires asking adult learners to detail any positive or negative past experiences with education. Adult learners would also be asked to detail their personal goals, either by writing them down in private or speaking them aloud to the class. Similarly, all participants would be given the opportunity to explore their future career and personal goals. Our agency would respond to the naturalistic approach well. Program planners could meet the needs of the adult learners and tailor each session for the specific demographic of the group. On the other hand, such an approach is likely to be more costly than a classical approach.

Our agency would be unlikely to wholeheartedly embrace the critical approach. A leading authority in the critical approach to adult education might introduce scholastic research and empirical studies showing how sociological realities affect adult learning. Issues related to class conflict or gender would be introduced readily. The critical theorist would suggest altering the structure of the organization to reflect trends toward egalitarianism. While admirable in its scope, the critical approach to adult learning would be unlikely to take root in our organization. A traditional agency like ours is willing to change but only slowly and systematically.

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