“What new insights have you gained in terms of the variety of roles that adult educators play?”
In all honesty, I can tend to be quite narrow-minded when it comes to the metanarrative – the big picture. You can jokingly blame it on my artistic absent-mindedness, or prejudicially blame it on my youth, or stereotypically blame it the male chromosomal makeup in general. Either way, I enrolled in this course with a specific goal in mind. I enrolled because I want to eventually become a corporate trainer of some sort. You know, the guy that gets hired by companies to conduct leadership seminars or who trains the new employees hired at their company? I want to be that guy. I think I’d be good at it.
However, crediting the precise vision for my own future, I stumbled into a program that prepares students for much more than my minute desired vocation. Of course, the broad term Adult Education applies to a much greater spectrum of careers than mere corporate training. Of course! I just didn’t exactly acknowledge this obvious fact formally in the forefront of my consciousness.
When the looming reality of the vast array of categories under the gargantuan umbrella of Adult Education stomped into clear view, I realized that I have (in some form or another) been doing it in my previous careers already! Every time I stood up at the front of the church to deliver a sermon on a Sunday morning I was engaging in it. Every time I taught a class on some religious topic that attracted aged students to attendance it was a reality of my role. Even every time I sat down with the parent of a developmentally disable client and explained to them what behavioral intervention entails and provided new ideas to help cope with having a child with Autism I was educating an adult to some degree.
This, to me, has been greatly insightful. It is not merely the university professor or the seminar speaker or the corporate trainer that is an educator of adults. It is the aerobics fitness teacher and the AA meeting facilitator and the First Aid course instructor and everyone in between.