Originally published in 1962, the purpose of this book was to examine the working of the educative process when it is concerned with older people; not with children, prisoners, willing or unwilling, of a system of basic education, but voluntary contractors; not green, pliable saplings, but sturdy and sometimes unbending timber – in short, adults with an outlook on life already formed, often with family responsibilities, and with a store of past experience, special interests, training, or expertise.
The teaching of older people does not consist merely of the adaptation of the methods applicable to school or college to the intellectual level of those to whom time and opportunity may have given an already broad understanding, theoretical or empirical, of a variety of subjects. The teaching of adults must take full account of method, but whatever the context, is also much concerned with the interrelations between individuals in groups, and with changes in the individuals themselves. For the adult, in the main, the purpose of education is improvement; this may imply a feeling of dissatisfaction with standards already achieved or a strong determination to reach new educational goals for specific reasons connected with status or advancement. These factors often bring with them into the setting of the adult class anxieties, tensions, feelings of inadequacy, or burdens of responsibility that overshadow the learning process because of the importance of the outcome. Habits and attitudes may already have been formed that stand in the way of assimilating new patterns and techniques of learning.
This book is concerned with the social and psychological factors of which account must be taken in approaching the teaching of adults. It considers methods of teaching and of learning, and proceeds to inquire into the deeper attitudinal influences at work, both in the teacher and in the student. Throughout the book theory is illustrated by the liberal use of examples. The author has also attempted to go beyond the particular to the general and to discuss the issues and principles that apply over a wide field of education and indeed of management. Thus the scope and usefulness of the book are not confined solely to the tutorial situation, but extend to those fields in which problems of group relations and leadership are to be found within the context of training or of management.
Table of Contents
Foreword. 1. Introduction 2. Getting Things Going 3. Lecturing 4. Discussion 5. Supervision of Practical Work 6. Examinations 7. Authority 8. Points of View 9. Change of Attitudes 10. Relationships. Bibliography. Index.
Dr M. F. Cleugh was a senior lecturer in the University of London Institute of Education. This work derives from some twelve years' experience of tutoring adult students in advanced courses at the University.