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True or False

For the following three statements, please select from the binary options, true or false, as you believe they apply to each statement:

  • True or False: Adults learn best when they actively participate in the learning process.
  • True or False: Adults are independent learners.
  • True or False: Feedback is an essential tool in guiding both facilitator and learners toward their training objectives, thereby optimizing results.

(Statements drawn from Training for the African Mind, authored by Gérémie Sawadogo.)

Adult learning – critical thoughts

A 20-year old article that inspires still-relevant questions about equity in training approach recently revisited the desk of our Editor. The 1995 article, Training for the African Mind, authored by Gérémie Sawadogo, remains a reference article for research in more recent years. At the heart of the article is an inquiry about key principles of adult learning theories in the “Western” tradition and how they apply to the Global South, particularly to an African continental context. When applied to the culture of our modern day training rooms—overwhelmingly following the business lead of certain geographies globally—these principles prompt critical thought about our assumptions around thinking and learning. The three statements above represent three of the four principles upon which the article centers.

Re-examine yourself

At intercultures, we believe in a regular re-examination of our assumptions in order to promote the health of our thinking and doing. How do you think about:

  • The extent to which learning may be an active or passive process?
  • Learning as an independent or interdependent reality?
  • What is communicated about the expectations of relationship when feedback is requested?

As one participant of an intercultures training recent pointed out, our experience of, and expectations for, training itself are shaped by our assumptions about how learning and thinking are to be done. In addition to the training content itself, may we think critically about to what or whose benefit our thinking and learning serves.

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The above article was included in our Nov. 2015 intercultures e-newsletter. 

Title picture source: Getty Images