01 SES 01 C, Teacher Educators
Parallel Paper Session
This paper presents a Masters program preparing for careers in adult education, especially vocational and professional training, in Rennes (Brittany - France). The authors, as teachers-researchers in charge of this program, are involved in this two years program, accompanying 20 to 25 adult learners every year, most of them returning to university to develop themselves, as individuals, and their career, as professionals. One of the pedagogical specifications of this program is the use “transformative learning” (Mezirow, 1991); another one is the use of reflexive learning from the double perspective of alternation (i.e. “cooperative education” or “sandwich courses”) and professionalization (Eneau, Bertrand & Lameul, 2011).
The first point refers to a theory of adult learning that is not yet very common, in France, but it could be referred to an old tradition of adult education in Europe, as a developmental and existential view of adult learning and self-education: in France, for example, it is linked with the former goals of popular education or vocational education (especially from its institutionalization in the 70’s), as well as in Germany, with the more ancient perspective of Bildung. Using transformative learning in adult education program, at University, means also, from an axiological point of view, to work from the learners’ experiences with the double goal of their development and their emancipation (Dewey, 1976). The transformative learning perspective of Mezirow (1991), based on the work of Habermas, is presented to the learners to make them work on their own schemas, perspectives of meaning and systems of representations.
The second point refers to an anthropological perspective, where education is conceived as a mutual adaptation of individuals to their environment, in an iterative move to transform their world (Wulf, 1999): education could then been seen as a praxis. Alternation of times and places for working and learning is then used in the reflexive learning design; teachers use the former experience of the adults and the moments they are at work (3 weeks per month) to analyze with them, during the course session (1 week per month), the sources of new learning, the tracks of reframed experiences, the reconfiguration of the perceived position of the actors, etc. In other words, the time of reflexive activity is not only reserved for analyzing new knowledge, but also to define and construct the “professional posture” (Lameul, 2009), which overlaps the perception of oneself as an actor able to act as a professional, but more over, able to affirm his-her values, finalities or ideals, able to change his-her world.
This paper aims thus to describe the particularities of this experimentation.
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