Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Highly qualified facilitators are leading small groups of students in classroom settings and in online forums as part of a dynamic learning experience offered by Brock’s Centre for Adult Education and Community Outreach.
This fall, approximately 350 learners are expected to enrol in the Bachelor of Education (BEd) in Adult Education and Certificate in Adult Education part-time programs. Courses are offered both online and face-to-face at as many as 18 locations across Ontario. The degree and certificate programs are designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of aspiring and experienced educators of adults in a diverse range of academic, business and institutional settings or service sectors. Course topics focus on areas such as learning pedagogies, curriculum design, work-place organization, research and critical reflection.
Shared interests in the field of adult education intersect on many levels between the students and facilitators.
Patsy Marshall, a facilitator in the Kitchener-Waterloo region since 2001, describes her experience as “building a community of learners.” And it’s a community, she adds, that forges relationships for years to come.
“One of the things that I enjoy most as a facilitator is the sharing and learning among participants and myself - our professional and personal growth is unbelievable,” she says. “It’s about building a community of learners that stays intact even after the course has finished.”
Brock’s facilitators come from a diverse range of fields and educational backgrounds. They live in all corners of Ontario and, in the case of online facilitators, lead courses from as far as western Canada.
A transformation experience
Jim Williams is an online facilitator living in Saskatchewan. He believes students are involved in a transformative experience.
“I love seeing the progress the learners make,” he says. “I especially love it when a learner has one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments.”
Williams is always impressed with the calibre of students attracted to the programs.
“Learners who enter the ADED program are highly motivated and they bring valuable life
experiences to the program,” he adds.
Rob Goldberg fully agrees. He has been facilitating courses in the Greater Toronto area for several years.
Students dedicated to learning
“These students come here with purpose,” he adds. “They are deliberate and very intentional students. They are dedicated to the learning.”
The personalities behind the students add value to the classroom experience says Goldberg.
“Everyone has a unique story and different perspective,” he says “The learners, after time, become comfortable enough with their facilitator and cohort to open up and share their unique thoughts. This enriches the experience.”
Meeting an increasing demand
The programs are contributing to meeting an increasing demand for adult education specialists to work in many vocational and post-secondary settings.
“Many progressive institutions today require a degree or certificate in Adult Education for their new recruits,” says Goldberg “This education along with a portfolio of experience in the field impacts greatly upon their opportunities for career advancement.”
“Some of our graduates have applied their program knowledge and practice to advance in their careers while others move on to pursue a master’s degree,” adds Marshall.
As for the facilitators, they are learning alongside their students.
“This experience makes me better at what I do,” adds Goldberg. “Each week I learn from the session topic, the readings, and from my interaction with the group of students. It makes me reflect critically on my practice.”
Anyone interested in the program may apply to the winter session until November 15. For more information, visit Adult Education