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Adult Learning for Development

Start Date

26 September
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Fee on application

This module runs on the following dates in Autumn 2017: Tuesday 26 September, Tuesday 3, 10, 17, 24 October, Tuesday 21, 28 November, Tuesday 5 December. All classes take place in the afternoon from 2 to 5 PM.

Note: This is a module on our MA in International Development programme. It can be taken as part of the Master’s programme or as a single module. Single Modules are ideal for learners who wish to update professional knowledge, enhance their career, or sample the MA/PG Dip programme. This option involves submitting assignments etc. for recognised academic credit (see fees for Single Modules). Please contact our Registrar for information on attending this module for academic credit.

Module Aim

This module aims to explore how ideas and approaches within the field of adult learning are relevant to development practice, drawing upon the experiential knowledge and insights of the learners and fostering their critical reflection upon theory and context.

Module Objectives

  • To explore different models and traditions in adult education in order to understand and assess how these may influence thinking and practice in development work
  • To facilitate critical thinking about the roles of both the adult educator and the adult learner in a development context
  • To encourage in all learners, critical reflection on their personal experience, roles and preferences in terms of adult learning

Module Learning Outcomes

  • To have a comprehensive understanding of key theories and principles of adult learning.
  • To be able to distinguish between different adult learning concepts and approaches and to clearly articulate this knowledge in written and/or oral presentations.
  • To show a knowledge of how adult learning can be facilitated by clarifying appropriate techniques and methods that may be used in particular contexts.
  • To demonstrate a capacity to critically reflect on the values inherent in certain modes of adult learning, either in the light of development contexts and/or personal experience.

Module Content

The key themes of this module are as follows:

  • Introduction to Adult Learning:  assessing expectations, experiences; clarifying the process to be used in the module; exploring the notion of how adults learn; investigating learning styles (Kolb)
  • Exploring Key Concepts: selected perspectives on the roles and purpose of education and identifying different philosophical traditions and models of education.
  • Adult learning and Development: examining adult learning models, especially those in the radical, progressive and humanist traditions, in the context of development practice.
  • Facilitating Adult Learning: practice in working collaboratively with groups of adult learners.
  • Experiences and Case Examples of Adult Learning and Development Practice


Details of assessment and up to date reading lists for this module will be made available to learners following enrolment.

Please note that this description is subject to change.



Adult Learning for Development

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