Andragogical knowledge and skills for teachers of youth to be working in the second-chance programmes for ESL

jeudi 12 novembre 2015, par Polona Kelava

With ESLrs probably one of the most important questions to be answered is why they left school early in the first place. Three common reasons given to answer this question are (ERIC Digest, 1987:1 ; cited from : Beatty et al., 2000) : a dislike of school and a view that school is boring and not relevant to their needs ; low academic achievement, poor grades, or academic failure ; and a need for money and a desire to work full-time. As for the reasons of ESL that schools and teachers have influence on, the selection of proper methods of work is of great importance not to repeat the reasons for ESL again.

In order to bring education closer to their needs and therefore more relevant to them and to break the continuity from the initial education and overcome eventual negative school experience, teachers of second-chance education programmes could make a good use of andragogical cycle (identification of educational needs, curriculum planning, planning programme formats, programme implementation, evaluation) and an adequate selection of andragogical methods and tools (experiential learning, self-directed learning, learning projects etc.). This is important since data shows that some cognitive training methods are not appropriate especially for people with low achievements and educational qualifications (Lopes, 2000), which are often characteristics of ESLrs.

Some of the approaches suggested, derived from basic andragogical methods and principles, are : leaving the participants with more freedom to decide where and when to learn, allowing for participants’ natural curiosity to lead their learning, explaining to participants that they are in charge of their own education ; adjusting work methods to every individual in small groups if possible, using different dynamic methods of teaching and including students into learning projects both to expand their interest, enable stronger connections to work settings, possibly combined with career counselling. (cf. Beatty et al., 2000 ; Evans et al., 2013, Lamb et al., 2011 ; Lopes, 2000).


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