Today’s America’s ability to provide a basic education to anyone is truer than ever before. Does it mean everyone gets an equal education? The concept behind education is an individual who has been educated and knows all the answers. For some this is a person who has been through the rigors of school and graduated. Most of us want to believe it is someone who makes a living with what they have learned. Adult education is flawed and does not provide the best education for people. Education starts as child and ends when the adult receives their degree.
Pedagogy students have not developed the patience or the experience to be educated. Therefore, education only truly comes when a person goes through life and has become a mature adult. The value of education will never be understood by youth, but by people who have gone through the hardships of life and have gained wisdom through life experience. According the Merriam, even the hardships of life become more of challenging when faced with diversity issues. Therefore I want to discuss a few of these topics, the challenges, and the possible solutions starting with diversity in the classroom (Demetrion, 1999).
Given the fact that the U. S. population is characterized by drastically increasing diversity, it is essential that schools and facilitators are culturally competent practitioners. No longer can they, (we), lack awareness that diversity issues exist within people, groups, and society in general. Lacking knowledge and understanding about what diversity issues mean to the Adult student can have possible consequences that may diminish ability to be competitive in today’s society.
A lack of understanding can be based on inexperience, ignorance, and the inability to be empathetic about peoples culture, customs, and values. Diversity issues lower level of independence and the expectations of education. It affects attitudes towards learning, work, personalities, social skills and abilities. When we talk about diversity issues with respect to andragogy learners, I am referring to the kinds of things that influences, distort conditions, and sets of circumstances that adversely affect their ability to learning.
Some facilitators refer to the extra burdens that learners carry as barriers to learn. Adults bring those barriers with them. The nature of these barriers and the level of impact it has on the learner has considerable influence on the ability to succeed in a class. One of the solutions an educator can employ in their classroom is to have a general understanding of the diverse cultural backgrounds of the adult students. This can be accomplished by talking about things that exclude them, avoid making the student feel isolated and keep them participating.
The point of this observation is to see what affects their ability to function in the classroom, what continually slows them down, and the level of impact it has on the learner and the considerable impact on the learning. Often the full impact and influence of a learners issue only comes to light, bit by bit, as you get to know the learner better. Address each issue as it appears. This leads me into my next issue of multiculturalism. Multicultural classrooms bring Adults with diverse backgrounds together.
The environment in the school should provide everybody with an equal opportunity to maximize their learning potential. The school should offer a unique learning experience for every individual within the school’s environment. However, discrimination comes up as a major issue in a diverse cultural make-up. Discrimination adversely affects the education of diverse students in the classrooms. It is evident that biases in our education system contribute to the underperformance of students from minority groups. The students most affected by these problems are Adults other than Caucasian.
It can involve discrimination against these students by their peers due to differences in culture and religious beliefs. Schools, facilitators, and government policies under represent the needs of these minority groups. One solution could be training classes for facilitators on cultural beliefs and classes on tolerance of each group of students. Another should be all inclusive programs involving adults from these underrepresented groups, policy makers observing classes, fellow students from the communities and facilitators in the school.
Together a consensus of changes could be enacted. Continuing on, another factor affecting adults is globalization. Globalization eased borders between countries and nations. Local issues, concerns and practices that only affected local students now impact immigrating adults around the world. If the world continues to be more interconnected, education will need to represent the function global community. The impact affects undereducated immigrating adult, therefore education becomes a necessity. Globalization impacts how we live, and how we communicate with each other.
If we do not have a strong education system in place for Adults, communication is impacted. Do adult learning expectations, philosophy change and evolve? Currently, these questions remain unasked. Scott focused on three areas: economic globalization – its purpose and impact, with an educational emphasis; an alternate vision for a sustainable future, and the role of adult education in the transition to a post-modern world (Scott, 2008) Beveridge’s focus was how knowledge developed under the influence of globalization.
He reported the significance of knowledge development in educational institutions and argued that the very nature of universities and staff influenced the type of knowledge generated for students (Scott, 2008). What could be possible solutions for globalization in the American education system? As educators, we can ensure the curricula meets the demands the private sector has placed on adults. Emphasize the importance of government involvement in adult’s secondary educations, in hat the burden is not left solely to private. Educating the private sector to recognize and respect the traditions and the differences between new Americans, (refugee and immigrants). Prepare adults to live and participate as citizens and professionals in their new country. The role adult educators should be to make them aware that adult education requires lifelong learning which provides better employment opportunities. I would like to continue on and address gender inequality.