Adult Learning – pressing issues and where the field is headed, in two sentences

I just received this message and spent some time reviewing the hundreds of posts I’ve made about learning over the past few years. I can’t think of any one or two lines that would actually make a difference. I’m leaving at 6:00 AM tomorrow, but may be able to get a response sent before the end of the day. Any suggestions? (Emphasis is mine)

The Canadian Council on Learning’s Adult Learning Knowledge Centre will hold its first national symposium at the Wu Conference Centre, in Fredericton, NB, on June 21-23, 2006. The symposium will provide an opportunity for dialogue between stakeholders in the practice and research of adult learning. At the symposium, I will be presenting the CCL’s state-of-the-field literature review for e-learning and adult learning with reactions by front-line practitioners and researchers.

I would like to incorporate comments from actual practitioners and researchers on the state of the field of e-learning, especially in relation to adult learning. Please feel free to share your perspectives on the state of the field from your perspective as an independent consultant in Atlantic Canada by Wednesday (June 21st) and I will gladly reports back to this larger audience (Sorry for the short notice!). One sentence or two on where the field is headed and some of the pressing issues from your perspective will suffice. Comments or quotes will be acknowledged and authors identified during the presentation. The symposium is intended to facilitate researchers and practitioners working together in meaningful collaborations, and to influence the policy process resulting in better learning opportunities and improved outcomes. The symposium will provide ALKC with concrete ideas to meet its goal of creating a culture of adult learning that is accessible and relevant to all Canadians.

Update: This is what I submitted:

The overwhelming majority of the learning needs of Canadian adults are not addressed by formal training and education. In this post-industrial era, adults today require self-directed learning skills to thrive in the unstructured work environments outside of school. Efforts should be focused on the development of practical tools and strategies for adults to learn in a networked information society.

4 Responses to “Adult Learning – pressing issues and where the field is headed, in two sentences”

  1. Tony Karrer, Ph.D.

    First – that’s three sentences. 🙂

    Second – I think the challenge for all of us is how to provide “practical tools and strategies” or even to learn ourselves about what works. I think we (learning professionals) are not all that great at learning and especially using tools and strategies for personal learning.

    A few of my rants on this:
    Do Learning Professionals Make the Worst Learners?

    More Questions on Making Learning for Learning Professionals More Effective

    eLearning Technology: Personal Learning for Learning Professionals – Using Web 2.0 Tools to Make Reading & Research More Effective

    If you have thoughts on this, I’m a regular reader so I’d love to see more blog posts on these tools and strategies.


  2. Karyn Romeis

    I find that the learning I design these days is looking increasingly like a knowledge portal and less like a course. It’s the putting-life-on-hold thing that makes learning inaccessible to so many busy professionals.

    My posts keep coming back to this point from different angles.

    Oh, and I have to agree with Tony (Karrer) that we need to be better models of our craft!

  3. Tony Karrer, Ph.D.

    Karyn – great line – “I find that the learning I design these days is looking increasingly like a knowledge portal and less like a course.” post it on your blog so I can link to it! It took me about five posts to say what you just said in about 20 words!


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