There have been several studies done on the benefits of adult education (Demidenko, 2007; Grace, 2012; Nordlund, 2013, Reese, 2012; Roehrig, 2010; Jensen, 2007). Grace (2012) provides a comprehensive analysis of the benefits of adult education. This author argues that education has a significant role in societal transformation. In the past, education was valued by a few, a reason why a large percentage of the old generation in modern society is uneducated or partially educated. Supporting this perception, Nordlund (2013) clarifies that education has undergone rapid transformation recently. Nordlund further explains that, while a majority of adults has completed secondary education, less than half of this population attains tertiary degree.
Reese’s (2012) argument is sufficient to prove that adult education has a positive effect on job prospects and employability. Moreover, the author establishes that adult education resulting in higher vocational level and academic qualification may affect the wages and incomes. The author further established that adult education may have transforming and sustaining effects on health trends and behaviors. Roehrig (2010) is another researcher that comprehensively examines the effects of adult education. This researcher established that this form of education has the ability of promoting the civic engagement while transforming the perception of extremist in adulthood. In conclusion, Roehrig provides evidence to prove that adult education results in more knowledge accumulation.
Demidenko (2007) has highlighted the benefits and features associated with higher education. According to Demidenko significant features include promotion of social accountability and psychological development. In contrast, Miser (2013) emphasizes that, by acquiring adult education, older people gain the knowledge required to enhance mental articulation and ability to comprehend the issues while making the right decisions. Furthermore, the researcher establishes that this education assists adults to view how credibility and reality guide their responsibilities as parents, leaders, and relatives. For example, Jensen (2007) explains that, through education, mothers have an opportunity of understanding their responsibility in a family and changes in their personality. In contrast, this education enables fathers to comprehend their responsibilities at every point, as the society undergoes changes in social-economic conditions.
Fenwick (2009) understands that the role of adult learning in achievement of life fulfillment and fullness is explained in various ways. It could be viewed as a second opportunity or helpful to individuals that never had the opportunity of acquiring formal education at a young age. For this reason, today's academic institutions are introducing special courses and teaching strategies that could promote understanding among adults. These courses include literacy courses for illiterates and various continuing learning programs in the form of vocational and intellectual education. Hadfield (2003) explains that adult education could be categorized as supplementary or complementary. For instance, adult education plays a complementary role by stabilizing educational achievement while providing constant refinement of skills and knowledge. From another perspective, supplementary role is attained when adult education takes over from where an individual achieved through formal education (Hadfield, 2003).
Perfecting Adult Education
In their article Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks, Phipps and Prieto (2013) emphasize that employers in the present world are investing on job training and joint education programs, with an aim of filling several emerging employment opportunities that remain unoccupied because of lack of sufficient qualifications among targeted candidates. Moreover, Phipps and Prieto insist that increased competition in the employment market is caused by enrolment of adults in higher education. This trend is forcing young learners to quest for more knowledge in order to overcome competition from adults and secure better education opportunities. Therefore, in the recommendation, Phipps and Prieto underline the importance of ensuring that all involved stakeholders in education – employers, higher learning institutions, local and state, and federal governments—collaborate in an effort to ensure expansion of training and learning programs that link adult learners to employment opportunities.
Demidenko, E. (2007). The Prospects of Education in a Changing World. Russian Education & Society, 49(6): 84-100.
Fenwick, T. (2009). Making to measure? Reconsidering assessment in professional continuing education. Studies in Continuing Education, 31(3): 229-244
Grace., A. (2012). The decline of social education and the rise of instrumentalism in North American adult education (1947-1970). Studies in the Education of Adults, 44(2): 225-244.
Hadfield, J. (2003). Recruiting and Retaining Adult Students. New Directions for Student Services, 102(1): 17- 26.
Jensen, K. (2007). The desire to learn: an analysis of knowledge-seeking practices among professionals. Oxford Review of Education, 33(4): 489-502.
Miser, R. (2013). Adult Education in Turkey. Adult Learning, 24(4): 167-174.
Nordlund, M. (2013). Investment in Second-Chance Education for adults and income development in Sweden. Journal of Education & Work, 26(5): 514-538.
Phipps, S. & Prieto, L. (2013). Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks: Investigating How Age, Ability, And Self Efficacy Influence Intentions To Learn And Learning Among Participants In Adult Education. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 17(1): 13-25.
Reese, S. (2012). Today's Adult Students. Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers, 87(7): 30-35.
Roehrig, L. (2010). The ABC's of Adult Ed. Library Journal, 135(10): 48-51.