Things to Know – Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy spring break. Yesterday morning many of our college colleagues, students, and community members attended the SWC Chicano Latino Coalition (Coalition) Cesar E. Chavez Scholarship Breakfast. Our speaker was Dr. Paul Espinosa who spoke about “love, courage, and justice.”

The scholarship winners were nothing short of amazing. In the student’s brief comments, we heard phrases such as “attitude of services” (Hannah) and “the only time you fail is when you cease to try” (Maryann).

Thank you to the Coalition for your commitment and dedication to students through these four scholarships, and for your commitment to Southwestern College through creating and sustaining for twelve years, an inspirational college event.

One of my “SWC great moments” was my first conversation with Academic Senate President Andrew Rempt. Andrew used the “A” word. Do you know what the A word is? Andragogy. Why did I think this was a great moment, because there is a difference between pedagogy and andragogy, and I believe how we approach that difference impacts student learning.

Malcolm Knowles, author of the Adult Learner used the term to describe adult learning theory based on four principles:

  1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.
  2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for the learning activities.
  3. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance and impact to their job or personal life.
  4. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented. (Kearsley, 2010)

Knowles made five assumptions about adult learners based on these principles.

1.       Self-concept
As a person matures his/her self concept moves from one of being a dependent personality toward one of being a self-directed human being

2.       Adult Learner Experience
As a person matures he/she accumulates a growing reservoir of experience that becomes an increasing resource for learning.

3.       Readiness to Learn
As a person matures his/her readiness to learn becomes oriented increasingly to the developmental tasks of his/her social roles.

4.       Orientation to Learning
As a person matures his/her time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application, and accordingly his/her orientation toward learning shifts from one of subject- centeredness to one of problem centeredness.

5.       Motivation to Learn
As a person matures the motivation to learn is internal (Knowles 1984:12).

Have a wonderful spring break, and I hope you return refreshed and ready to make a difference.

I leave you with a Cesar E. Chavez quote:

Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.