Theory and Practice on Training and Professional Development in Adult and Continuing Education
Theory and practice in the curriculum for preparation of educators of adults have seldom been addressed in the same places or time frames. Much less, there have been few attempts to bring theory and practice together in any coherent way. Nevertheless, expressions of concern and discontent from adult educators and the general adult populace involved in learning experiences abound which question "why do adult educators violate in their own programs everything that is known about how adults learn?" However, comments of satisfaction with the current situation may prompt one to suggest that theory and practice relationship will not be resolved, but that it should continue to be discussed, as well as each person becoming clear about factors influencing her/his perspective on the issue. This paper proposes to: clarify the definitions of theory, practice and curriculum related to the preparation of educators of adults; trace some historical background of the issue; present a case illustration of one educator of adults, prepared in an academic curriculum not only supportive of the theory ad practice connection, but also advocated congruence between the two. In addition, the case illustration describes how that educator of adults worked on the theory and practice issue in his professional context as he has continued to learn as well as facilitate the preparation of educators of adults. Content and process elements of the curriculum he experienced in preparation and, which he presents, through his university career, in various contexts and cultures are included. With this addition to the debate of the issue, others are invited and encouraged to also engage in a discussion of the theory and practice by contributing their points of view.