Adult education programs providing classes to students preparing for high school equivalency and learning English that demonstrate characteristics of learning organizations may be better able to thrive when confronted with less-than-ideal circumstances. Many of these programs organize adult educators into learning communities as the context for professional development. These teachers define themselves as learning teams, communities of practice, inquiry-centered communities, and professional learning communities. Evaluating the impacts of learning communities on students, teachers, and programs is essential in determining the return on investment of this professional development strategy.
This study described and explored how adult education learning communities contribute to programs becoming learning organizations. The concurrent mixed-method study triangulated data from the School Professional Staff as Learning Community survey (Hord, 1996), researcher-developed surveys for program administrators and teachers, and focus group sessions. The study was founded in an appreciative inquiry approach in an attempt to reveal the strengths of adult education programs. This study applied research and practice from the field of training and performance improvement to an educational context. The findings have implications for policy makers, program administrators, and teachers.
|Commitee:||Orem, Sara, Roy, Pat|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Adult education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Adult education, Appreciative inquiry, Evaluation, Learning community, Learning organization, Professional development, Return on investment|
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