Exploring Adult Learning: Framework, Approaches, and Policy Implications in Scotland

  • 07 Pages
  • Published On: 29-11-2023

Adult learning can be referred to as the lifelong beginning in Early Years that is supported by the Curriculum for Excellence. The adult learning framework covers the whole age span of post-compulsory education. The adult learning is the life-wide process that covers every aspect of life such as professional, personal, community and family aspects. This essay will discuss the purpose and key features of adult learning. Then the essay will demonstrate the approaches that are used in promoting the community learning and personal and professional development of people. The essay will also discuss the current legislation and policies that influence the implementation of the adult learning framework in Scotland. As mentioned by Crowther et al. (2017), adult learning can be defined as the learning activity as well as program that is deliberately designed to meet the educational, developmental and training needs of a person. Adult learning is generally taken by people who are over the school leaving age therefore their principle is no longer in formal education. Therefore, adult learning is associated with vocational, non-vocational, formal, non-formal and general education that has a collective social purpose. Scotland is well-known for its highly engaged and creative learning society (Valiente et al. 2020). The purpose of adult learning in Scotland is to protect the right to the learning of adults thereby fulfilling their development and educational needs. Lifelong learning or adult learning in Scotland has an important purpose. One of the purposes is the reaffirmation of the individuality by providing the opportunity for lifelong learning to people in Scotland. As mentioned by Crowther et al. (2017), lifelong learning must be associated with determining the individual learning and developmental needs and aspiration of a person. Another purpose of adult learning in Scotland is providing a good opportunity to people for fulfilling their self-confidence, promoting their personal development and raising their self-esteem (Rüber et al. 2018). The other purpose of adult learning is to improve the employability and literacy skill in terms of making sure that all the people can have the opportunity to participate in society. According to Hancock and Hancock (2018), through adult learning, people can develop a positive relationship with their society by making active involvement in society. Adult learning has the purpose to foster their active participation, active citizenship and education in the society thereby assisting the people to express their point of view and opinion. Whatsapp Along with the purposes of adult learning, it is also important to demonstrate the key features of this process. As mentioned by Rüber et al. (2018), in Scotland adult learning has the six key features. The first feature of adult learning is to develop and promote positive skill, knowledge, creativity and confidence in people to assist people in making a positive choice, having economic growth and having good health and wellbeing (Cunningham and Zlotos, 2018). In Scotland, adult learning is involved in improving the involvement of people in their community by motivating them to perform all the social activities. In Scotland, adult learning is associated with developing a strong bond and network through motivating people for their participation in the collective social activities (Hancock and Hancock, 2018). Social learning aims to increase the social capital by developing the skill, creativity and professional development of society people. Adult learning is involved in developing effective communication skill in people including numeracy, literacy, Scot language, Gaelic language, intercultural communication and English for Speakers of Other Language. Adult learning is involved in promoting digital literacy thereby assisting people to take part in the digital soc society. It also promotes critical and ethical thinking, active civic participation and self-determination In Scotland, adult learning provides people with opportunities for flexible learning in their workplaces and communities (Smythe, 2018). This learning framework prioritizes the education, learning and development needs of the marginalized and deprived people to provide them with the additional support for engaging in the learning activities. Adult learning in Scotland has different approaches that are implemented into practice to provides the proper learning and developmental opportunity to the people in the community (Mackay and Notman, 2017). One of the most popular adult learning approaches in Scotland is Adult Basic Education. This approach emphasizes mainly the provision of the services that are associated with the basic numeracy and literacy. According to Jack-Waugh et al. (2018), the Adult basic education is concerned with developing the basic knowledge on numeracy thereby promoting the basic literacy in people. Adult Basic Education includes basic learning of Information Technology. Another important approach to adult learning that Scotland Government has taken is the adult returners. This approach is based on the concept that there may be some adult who can return to training or education after a long period (Field and Schemmann, 2017). This approach emphasizes oh that fact that education and training agencies must take the concept of adult returning into account while providing services and opportunities to the adults. Another adult learning approach in Scotland is distant learning, in which the raining and educational facilities to the adult is not delivered within a training or educational institution the best example, of distance education, is the open university. Recreation is another important adult learning approach in Scotland that includes such as education and training activities that have the reactional functions for the adults. For example, the sports activities can be considered as the recreational education that provides the leisure and recreational services to the adult. As mentioned by Niven (2017), through using the recreational approach to adult learning, it is easy to motivate and engage people in educational and training. Social and political education is an important adult learning approach in Scotland that is involved in developing the basic knowledge of political and social aspects in people (Smythe, 2018). This approach is concerned with improving the knowledge and concept of people about the education provision, the political and social and social norms. This approach is considered to be the most effective approach which assists people to adhere to social and political values. While it comes to discuss the national or local policies of adult learning in Scotland, the bast example is National Performance Framework [NPF]. This national adult learning framework is developed by the Scotland government to make Scotland safer, healthier and fairer. Under this act, the Scottish minister is obliged to interact with the Scottish people about whether their training, education and development needs are met. As mentioned by Hancock and Hancock (2018), policy setting in case of promoting adult learning must be relevant to the learning and development needs of the adults. The NPF has some important principles based on which educational and raining agencies must work (Cunningham and Zlotos, 2018). These principles are, protecting the human rights, protect them from any kind of discrimination, make the highly competitive and entrepreneurial economy, provide skill and training support to marginalized and deprived people, reduce poverty and develop a lifestyle of deprived people, develop a positives environment in the country and make people educated and skilled to promote their effeteness contribution in the society. From the overall discussion, it can be stated that in Scotland there is a well-constructed and creative adult learning framework that is associated with providing training, education and skill development in adult people. Adult learning has several purposes such as meeting the skill, knowledge and education needs of adults, providing them with the training and education they aspire, improve their relationship with society and promote their positive contributions in et society, community and workplace. The Scottish government has set a well-organized national policy for the adult learning which consider all the educational and training of people thereby providing such education that can promote their self-esteem, confidence and creativity.

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Reference list:

  • Crowther, J., Ackland, A., Petrie, M. and Wallace, D., 2017. Adult Education, Community, and Learning for Democracy in Scotland. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education.
  • Cunningham, D.E. and Zlotos, L., 2018. Practice-Based Small Group Learning (PBSGL) in Scotland–a survey of registered pharmacy staff and general practice nurses. Education for Primary Care, 29(2), pp.79-85.
  • Field, J. and Schemmann, M., 2017. International organisations and the construction of the learning active citizen: An analysis of adult learning policy documents from a Durkheimian perspective. International journal of lifelong education, 36(1-2), pp.164-179.
  • Hancock, A. and Hancock, J., 2018. Extending the 1+ 2 language strategy: Complementary schools and their role in heritage language learning in Scotland. CERES. The University of Edinburgh.
  • Jack-Waugh, A., Ritchie, L. and MacRae, R., 2018. Assessing the educational impact of the dementia champions programme in Scotland: Implications for evaluating professional dementia education. Nurse education today, 71, pp.205-210.
  • Mackay, K. and Notman, M., 2017. Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007: reflections on developing practice and present-day challenges. The Journal of Adult Protection.
  • Niven, L., 2017. Scots: The Scots Language in Education in Scotland, Regional Dossiers Series. Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning.
  • Rüber, I.E., Rees, S.L. and Schmidt-Hertha, B., 2018. Lifelong learning–lifelong returns? A new theoretical framework for the analysis of civic returns on adult learning. International Review of Education, 64(5), pp.543-562.
  • Smythe, S., 2018. Adult learning in the control society: Digital era governance, literacies of control, and the work of adult educators. Adult education quarterly, 68(3), pp.197-214.\
  • McAlpine, L. and Weston, C., 2002. Reflection: Issues related to improving professors’ teaching and students’ learning. In Teacher thinking, beliefs and knowledge in higher education (pp. 59-78). Springer, Dordrecht.
  • Valiente, O., Lowden, K. and Capsada-Munsech, Q., 2020. Lifelong learning policies for vulnerable young adults in post-recession Scotland. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 41(2), pp.218-233.
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