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Adult education and distant education

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SONDARVA YAGNESH M Dept of Extension Education BACA AAU Ananad Extension Education as a Profession, Distance education and Adult education.
Page 1: Adult education and distant education

SONDARVA YAGNESH MDept of Extension Education


Extension Education as a Profession, Distance education and

Adult education.

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Extension Education as a ProfessionThe dictionary meaning of profession is:

• ‘A job requiring special training and a formal qualification and also the collective body of persons engaged in any profession”.

• A professional person is one who makes his living by an art (viz. music, sport etc.). In the disciples of art, literature, sports, music, health, science there are many professional persons.

• Agricultural extension organizations try to change farmer’s behaviour through education and communication.

• The extension personnel (VLW, KPS etc.) who are engaged in educating the rural masses for planned change in the society are professional persons.

• For this purpose the extension personnel were imparted to a specialized course on extension education and agricultural science from an agricultural university or college, to develop their skill, knowledge and aptitude so that they can bring desirable changes in the society, particularly among the farming community.

• This is not possible by the person who is not professional in the related subject.

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Extension education is a profession because it posses the following

characteristics and Standards:

1. It is a body of knowledge based on systematic scientific investigation

2. Extension education has established requirements of training and competency as a basis for entry into the profession.

3. It requires a personal responsibility by members for service to the public.

4. It has established technical and ethical standards.5. There is a continual research and exchange of information among

members of the profession.

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Distance EducationThe term ‘distance education’ in English is of quite recent origin.

When the International Extension College came into being in England at the beginning of 1971, this term did not exist.

People talked about ‘Correspondence Education’ to describe the method of teaching through printed materials, sent by post to students who studied them and sent back exercises or assignments to their tutors who in turn marked and returned them by post.

Distance education has gradually been adopted in the United Kingdom, North America, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the English speaking world as well as internationally.

A degree of formal recognition of the term distance education occurred in 1982 when the International Council of Correspondence Education (ICCE) changed its name to the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE).

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Distance Education: DefinitionDistance education has been variously defined. There is yet no agreement on a single definition.

According to Dohmen, “Distance education is a systematically organized form of self study in which student counselling, the presentation of learning material and the securing and supervising of student’s success are carried out by a team of teachers, each of whom has responsibilities. It is made possible by means of media which can cover long distances...”.

According to Holmberg '' The term ‘distance education’ covers the various forms of study at all levels which are not under the continuous, immediate supervision of tutors present with their students in lecture rooms, but which nevertheless, benefit from the planning, guidance and tuition of a tutorial organization”.

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Terminological varietyThere are many terms similar to ‘distance education. Some of such

terms are:

1. Distance teaching, 2. Distance learning, 3. Open learning, 4. Flexible learning, 5. Material based learning, 6. Resource based learning, 7. Technology based learning, 8. Computer assisted learning, 9. Self-managed learning, 10. Distributed learning, 11. Supported self-study, 12. Independent study.

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Comparison of Conventional Education and Distance Education

Childs and Wedmeyer commented on conventional education in the following words:

“Conventional teaching and learning makes use of concepts of learning and teaching that have preserved the old mystiques that have maintained space-time barriers to learning”.

The differences between conventional education and distance education are presented next:

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Conventional Education (Direct) Distance Education (Indirect)

1. Face-to-face, from teacher to student, with opportunity for direct interaction

1. Indirect communication by media with little or no direct interaction

2. Suitable for transmitting norms and attitudes2. Suitable for transmitting knowledge and to a limited extent skills.

3. Classroom is the locus of teaching activities3. Learning occurs where ever the learner chooses to study

4. Teacher is presenter of information 4. Teacher is expert; tutor is the manager of instruction

5. Compulsory attendance is the norm5. Relies on high motivation and self discipline

6. Labour intensive 6. Capital intensive

7. Definite schedule and rhythms of teaching7. Self-paced at any time of day or week

8. Teacher-pupil ratio is generally low 8. Ratio is generally high9. Depends on competence of the individual teacher

9. Depends on experts working in a team

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Generations of Distance Education

Distance education is one of the few areas of education where communication technology has been central to the teaching task for over 30 years. Writers on educational technology like Nipper and Kaufman distinguished three generations of distance education:

1. The First Generation:The first generation is characterized by a predominant use of a single technology and lack of direct student interaction with the teacher originating the instruction. Correspondence education is a typical form of first generation of education.

2. The Second generation:The second generation of education is characterized by integrated multimedia approach, with learning material specifically designed for study at a distance but with two-way communication mediated by a third person. Autonomous distance teaching universities belong to this second generation.

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3. The Third Generation:The third generation distance education is based on two way communications media.which allow direct interaction between the teacher and the remote learner and often between remote students either individually or as groups. Third generation education is paving the way for a new type of educational organisations.

4. Fourth Generation:

James Taylor identified fourth generation of distance education with reference to the

development and use of delivery technologies.

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Adult EducationDefinition• Adult education has been variously defined by different people and institutions.

Important definitions of adult education are presented below:• According to Houle (1996) Adult education is the process by which men and

women seek to improve themselves or their society by increasing their skill, knowledge, or sensitiveness; or it is any process by which individuals, groups or institutions try to help men and women improve in these ways.

• According to Courtney (1989) Adult education is an intervention into the ordinary business of life - an intervention whose immediate goal is change in knowledge or in competence. An adult educator is one, essentially, who is skilled at making such interventions.

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• Adult education is also regarded as the provision of largely, non-vocational education for people who have left school and are not formally registered for a college and university course leading to certification.

• Day time or evening tuition may be provided by Extension Department or a college or by other institution in the premises of secondary school or colleges and may cover wide range of cultural, recreational, community and sporting activities.

• It is a development oriented education.

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Objectives of Adult EducationThe important objectives of adult education are:1. To make adults aware of their civic responsibilities to one another and to the

community, the nation.2. To make them economically more efficient3. To develop a sense of responsibility and a knowledge of how to proceed in

making personal adjustments to home life and family relationship4. To promote health and physical fitness5. To supplement and broaden educational background6. To provide the means for encouraging cultural development and an

appreciation of arts.7. To provide for the development of educational interests through opportunity

for self expression.

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PURPOSES OF ADULT EDUCATIONThe major purposes of adult education are:




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Ralph E. Crew (1949) has enumerated the purpose of adult education as:“Adult education aims to extend opportunities for improved living to all

people of all ages regardless of class, creed or colour. It is for every body, regardless of how limited or how extended his formal schooling”.

According to Willard S. Townsend“The primary purpose of the adult education movement is to serve as a

channel whereby adults learn to understand, live with, tolerate each other, bringing a new dignity and well being to all”

The Adult Education Association of the USA States -“the fundamental goal of adult education is to enable adults to deal

intelligently, democratically and peacefully with the problems posed for individuals and communities by the pervasive fact of change"

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Functions of Adult EducationBryson (1936) discussed the functions of adult education in terms of

agency or subject matter. He divided adult education according to five types of functions.

1. Remedial, 2. Occupational, 3. Relational, 4. Liberal and 5. Political.

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Thanks for your attention