3100- Foundations of Adult Education
Here’s a sample of one of my Reflective Writing Assignments.
I have chosen to write my reflective assignment on this quote by Rogers in 1969 “an educated person is one who has learned how to learn…how to adapt and change” (as cited in Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p.31). This particular quote captured my attention in several ways, but mostly because I find it very interesting how 47 years later, it still seems very accurate. However, I do think than an uneducated person is capable of learning, therefore adapting and changing as well.
By learning more, either by getting more education or simply everyday learning, I find it interesting how that knowledge enables us to adapt better to change. It’s through this education or knowledge that allows us to be informed and able to make decisions on change. By expanding our brains, we are better able to realize that change is necessary for learning and learning can be necessary for change.
I chose this quote because I feel that without change, we won’t grow as individuals. For some people, change can be difficult. I can honestly say that I do not like change and struggle with this on a daily basis. While most changes are usually for the best, changes to me are the unknown and create insecurity. According to Rogers (as cited in Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p.31), “no knowledge is secure, that only the process of seeking knowledge gives a basis for security.” Even though I don’t like change, I am learning new things every day.
I can identify with Roger’s quote because a few years ago I was required to upgrade my skills at work. The dentist I had been working with for twelve years suddenly retired due to health reasons and I found myself unemployed. I started working at a new dental office that was much more updated technologically. I was forced out of my comfort zone. Although I felt uncomfortable every day at work, learning multiple skills at one time, I found I was actually ready for the change. I entered my new office position with a very positive, motivated attitude and an openness to learn. I was very surprised at how ready I was to learn new skills and how learning enabled me to adapt and change.
According to Nicolaides “today’s changes of global development, what was formerly solid, reliable, and recognizable is becoming liquid. The metaphor of liquidity effectively captures the complexity of the social changes taking place in everyday life. Increasingly, social structures widely viewed as solid—education, health, social security, leisure, and family, to name only a few—are more fluid, unable to hold their shape for long. This new liquidity signals constant change, and with it insecurity and uncertainty: about what to wear, who to follow, what matters, and what to learn” (2015, p.180). I think we all have to realize that change is going to happen, but constant change and uncertainty does create insecurity for some people.
It’s through education that people are able to expand themselves to gain more knowledge and have the willingness to learn more. By learning, this enables people to adapt to changing ways in today’s world. Educated people have accomplished lots of learning through their education and are more likely to adapt to changing ways. They may have the ability to seek out more knowledge by questioning more ideas. It makes me wonder how many of these traditional learning theories are still holding up in today’s time. I find it fascinating how the psychologists of the past developed these theories and how portions of these theories are still being used or being built on today to create other theories. The whole idea of adapting or changing some of these traditional theories is exactly what they were referring to. Without being open to change, or having the ability to grow, develop, adapt, I think learning is more difficult. Through learning, educated people have learned how to grow, adapt and therefore change.
By reflecting on this quote, it’s made me realize that the more learning a person does, the more learning they’ll want to do. I know this is true for me. I don’t consider myself to be a highly educated person, but I’m capable of learning, adapting and changing. I wasn’t motivated to expand my learning until it was required of me to get another job. Sometimes we’re almost forced into learning, sometimes we’re seeking it on our own, but I feel being motivated or entering into learning with a positive attitude to learn will definitely help. Setting goals and determination to achieve those goals can also help uneducated people to learn.
Over the past few years, I believe I have become a lifelong learner. I feel the need to know about lots of things I hear about. I watch the news every day and question everything I hear. It’s like a learning switch has been turned on for me since I had that change of employment a few years back. Taking on my new challenge of Dental Assisting Instructor and getting my PIDP has also involved massive amounts of learning. But if anyone had told me years ago, I’d be doing this at my age, I would have walked away laughing.
I can apply this interpretation to my professional practice by realizing that in order to survive in today’s ever changing world, we must all be lifelong learners. By doing so, we will learn more by educating ourselves. Education doesn’t always need to be found in the classroom. There are so many things to learn about by simply asking questions, taking an online course or community classes. There are many places to learn something new. I remind my students every day that learning not only takes place in a classroom, it happens everywhere at any time. I remind them to ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid to try something new, there’s always something to gain from it. Learning takes place without even being aware of learning sometimes. Just keeping our mind open to learning new things is a good start to becoming a lifelong learner. Educated people are lifelong learners because they know how to adapt and change from their learning and they’re not afraid to learn.
Merriam,S.B., & Bierema, L.L. (2014). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. San
Nicolaides,A. (2015). Generative learning: Adults learning within ambiguity. Adult
Education Quarterly, 65(3), 179-195. doi:10.1177/0741713614568887.