Planning Programs for Adult Learners
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Planning Programs for Adult Learners

A Practical Guide

Sandra Ratcliff Daffron, Rosemary S. Caffarella

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eBook - ePub

Planning Programs for Adult Learners

A Practical Guide

Sandra Ratcliff Daffron, Rosemary S. Caffarella

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Über dieses Buch

Strengthen your adult education program planning with this essential guide

Planning Programs for Adult Learners: A Practical Guide, 4th Edition is an interactive, practical, and essential guide for anyone involved with planning programs for adult learners. Containing extensive updates, refinements, and revisions to this celebrated book, this edition prepares those charged with planning programs for adult learners across a wide variety of settings.

  • Spanning a variety of crucial subjects, this book will teach readers how to:
  • Plan, organize, and complete other administrative tasks with helpful templates and practical guides
  • Focus on challenges of displacement, climate change, economic dislocation, and inequality
  • Plan programs using current and emerging digital delivery tools and techniques including virtual and augmented reality

Planning Programs for Adult Learners provides an international perspective and includes globally relevant examples and research that will inform and transform your program planning process. Perfect for adult educators and participants in continuing education programs for adults, the book will also be illuminating for graduate students in fields including education, nursing, human resource development, and more.

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Chapter 1
Planning Programs for Adults
What It's About Today, Tomorrow, and into the Future

An illustration of icon for Scenario 1.1.

Sandy and Pierre sit in the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Virtual Reality Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia. It is 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, October 12, 2025. The 5th Annual Adult Education in Global Times virtual reality conference has just ended, and in the studio with the North American hosts Sandy and Pierre are Bulent representing Turkey and the Middle East, Bwambale representing Uganda and Africa, Antonia representing Brazil and South America, and Biafern representing Thailand and Asia. The Global conference had 1,500 attendees virtually and made a very small carbon imprint, yet the reviews of the conference were very positive. This postconference review lasted several hours and had the following positive and negative reviews:
  • Sandy said the session from the “Boeing Institute for the Protection of Salmon and Chinook Reproduction” and “Environmental Efforts to Prevent Drilling” had 300 people watching the salmon ladder and protective deep hole farming out of Alaska. She said the 45-minute virtual tour of the facility followed by a discussion originating from the facility was so busy that Sandy had to stop the discussion just to end the session on time.
  • Bulent said the session he hosted on the world's refugees was met with a mix of positive and some negative reactions, almost breaking down on the sides of political issues. The live interviews of Syrian, Palestinian, and Iraqi children were very moving until the Friday Call for Prayers was so loud the interviews had to be stopped. Bulent asked why the director of the film wasn't familiar with the timing of the Prayers and he wondered how poorly this reflected on this segment of the conference.
  • Biafern said her session on the “Institute for the Preservation of the Rain Forests of Asia” in conjunction with Antonia and the session on “Stopping the Deforestation of the Amazon” was presented in its 2-hour slot. She said some unexpected footage of a live boa constrictor ready to wrap itself around a wild boar was too realistic and they had to move away from that scene, which made the scene of the logging road to the jungle fairly boring. But this was all live, and the burning of the fields in the Amazon was really shocking to everyone. Both Biafern and Antonia said they received immediate texts from 50 people wanting to get involved in their efforts.
  • The Uganda session reported by Bwambale on the celebration of closing of the state orphanage was very emotional. Because AIDS had been eliminated in Uganda in 2024 and there weren't any recent tribal wars, families were intact, and children didn't have to be placed in orphanages this year. The women who used to work in the orphanages had been retrained to be teachers for the growing preschools, which had more children than the last 3 years. Classes to prepare these teachers and for the new master's program in adult and continuing education set up by Pierre had doubled in size, and those in other parts of Africa were asking Pierre to expand the UBC master's program to their countries.
With such positive reports, Sandy and Pierre were ready to celebrate with their outstanding program planning teams when the group said they needed to talk about some things that went wrong and may have affected the positive evaluations made about the conference. Sandy and Pierre started taking notes and heard the following:
  • The power went out in the Brazil site several times during the conference. People there were really upset so Antonia immediately enlisted 10 people stationed across Brazil and Argentina in various sites to hold discussions about the topics being discussed when the second power outage occurred. The evaluations reflected how appreciative the audiences were to have the discussions rather than sit and stare at a blank screen and at each other like they did for a half hour during the first outage.
  • The team in Uganda went over budget by $10,000. Sandy asked how that was possible and wondered who was expected to pay the caterer and audiovisual rental company.
  • Those attending the Uganda presentation also complained that the research cited for the AIDS report was old research and people objected to hearing figures from 2020.
  • Bulent said the fiasco with the Call of Prayer interrupting the live interviews with refugee children stopped after 10 minutes and once the interviews continued, he had footage that could be posted on the website for the conference that was very touching and showed the efforts of the Turkish adult educators who had accomplished amazing work with children in the refugee camps.
  • Pierre said the only negative issue he had to report was the overcrowded rooms at UBC and the problem of finding chairs for the extra people who wanted to crowd into the studio.
  • A final complaint came from a program planner sitting in the virtual reality theatre who said that because of the unexpected numbers of UBC students who crowded into the studio at the last minute, they ran out of snacks for the break and there were complaints about that.
  • The review ended with the team vowing to look at these complaints and make sure they didn't occur next year. The team members were otherwise very pleased with this conference.
Although this scenario is set into the future of 2025, all parts of the scenario were possible when this book was written in 2020. Technological advances such as virtual reality allow for global interactions in program planning, and live interviews and scenes such as interviews with children in refugee camps can easily take place. Creativity in program planning allows adult educators to bring about issues relating to difficult environmental problems and social issues that threaten the very existence and stability of our planet. As program planners become creative and incorporate the newest technology in their programs, scenarios like this can and will present problems that come with live programs and the use of technology and mistakes made through human error. But problems are also an integral part of the program planning process and should be anticipated. Consider the following questions: How typical would this scenario be in the future? What are the issues that can be controlled and what problems did the team have that could be anticipated and avoided? What were the positive aspects that ought to be repeated another year of the virtual reality conference? Virtual reality programs as shown in this example may be possible now, and with the need for virtual calls during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, it may be possible that new and even more creative programs will start to appear. These questions are representative of the problems addressed throughout the book.
The purpose of this book, and the message in this first chapter, is to show the role of those planning programs for adult learners by providing a glimpse of who they are, what they do, where and when they work, why they present programs, and how programs can be planned for adults to be creative and educationally challenging. In this chapter, we consider the following:
  • We examine the latest changes in program planning to create the newest approaches to planning programs.
  • We explore the many roles of people who plan programs and the variety of settings and cultures where these programs are held.
  • We examine the purposes and primary outcomes of programs for adults. We discuss how planning models can be useful tools in the planning process, especially for novice program planners.
  • We conclude the chapter with an exploration of the model presented in this book, the Interactive Model of Program Planning, and how it currently is used and what the future holds for program planning. And then, it is hoped, by 2025, program planners will have helped to address the aforementioned troublesome environmental problems.

Who Are the Planners of Education and Training Programs?

Education and training programs for adults are planned and coordinated by people in numerous roles who have varied backgrounds and experiences. Nearly anyone could conceivably find themselves in a situation where they are responsible for planning a program for adult learners. Some are in formal positions where their primary responsibility is to plan such programs. These might include corporate or government training staff; community educators; college or university continuing education coordinators; continuing professional education specialists; health, environmental, literacy, labor, and popular educators; and extension agents. Others work in settings where developing education and training programs is in addition to other responsibilities. These might include activists, business owners, leaders of schools and nongovernmental organizations, union stewards, volunteer organizers, and salespeople. The following scenario illustrates the range of roles planners might occupy.

An illustration of icon for Scenario 1.2.

Connie is a training director for the international division of a global corporation based in central Europe. She is responsible for planning programs for new midlevel managers across Europe. Connie was told she needs to present more of her programs online because of the cost of travel. She dislikes the idea but is told to make sure the managers learn their new duties.
Jason is a new administrator of English as a second language (ESL) teachers in California who monitor homeschooled students. Jason has taught ESL for 5 years but has little experience in planning programs. Jason is expected to set up staff training for the ESL teachers to learn about a number of state and federal mandates that require all ESL teachers to adopt new instructional practices.
Andre is a local volunteer coordinator of a statewide group advocating social justice. Andre finds himself constantly planning numerous programs, such as community-wide forums and action-oriented events, by “just doing it.”
Ina is an assistant director of continuing professional education at a large research university in Singapore. Although Ina does have a graduate degree i...