Adult Educator

Roles and Trends

                                   New Insights Into Roles and Trends

                                                                       Chris W Gilmore

                                                       Vancouver Community College

                                                         Caroline Alashhab  Instructor








NEW INSIGHTS INTO ROLES AND TRENDS                                                                                1

Emerging Roles:


        My initial reaction to all this was that I had “dove into the deep end”. My past education consists of formal education from over forty years ago. Those same forty years have been full of experiential learning blessing me with more knowledge than I had realized.  Researching, I found that the Teacher role that I associated with education, has diversified into several roles. Adult educators now have to be facilitators, mentors, demonstrators, moderators, designers, tech supporters, and a coach. They also have to be transparent with the fact that they are learning right along with the Adult Learners. Respecting the life experiences of Adult Learners as a valuable asset is a must do for today’s Instructors.  I realize that being an Adult Educator is going to require constant learning and adapting just to meet the needs of Adult Learners. I am also sure that more roles will be added to the job description of a successful Adult Educator …probably tomorrow!

NEW INSIGHTS INTO ROLES AND TRENDS                                                                                2

Emerging Trends:


        As a miner, I have noticed the increased use of technology with on the job computers, even on the heavy equipment. I had to re-qualify on all the equipment which meant that I had to complete and pass courses on the computer before I tested on each piece of equipment. Computers on the huge shovels now show where the ore is, how much each bucket weighs, GPS position, which truck you are loading and how much material has been loaded. I have observed that many workers my age are finding it too hard to adapt and keep up with the technological changes that are always advancing. Many experienced workers are choosing early retirement because upgrade courses are not designed for the older adult. This is happening just when there is a looming worker shortage on the horizon here in British Columbia. I think it is a shame to see all that talent/experience lost to retirement instead of being shared through educational programs. I hope to make a difference in my trade by developing courses that will meet the needs of the older Adult Learners. Hopefully I will help many of them to keep pace with the technology advances in the mining industry and stay working longer. The internet is bursting with new information and programs. MOOC (massive open online courses) are loaded with information that is constantly being updated for the community of learners. New technology is happening so fast that one is in a constant state of tech learning. In summary, I have come to the realization that one must be a life long learner to be a successful Instructor of education.

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The Skype face-to-face with my learning partner, Sherryl Eagle, was very enlightening as well as uplifting. Her summary on the emerging roles of the Adult Educators brought up some good points. Adult educators, as we have known them in the past, are having to change to meet the new types of situations that we now face. Gone are the days that lessons were given from the front of the class only. Many new ways of dispensing knowledge are forcing educators to adapt their method of showing new learners how to learn. This situation is ongoing and changing often which is a challenge for the profession to produce solutions. The Trends emerging can be brand new today and become old news tomorrow. More online courses and MOOC style courses are rapidly expanding the resource library for the learner. It seems that technology’s rapid growth is meeting the surprising demand that learners have for face-to-face personalized learning. With all the new technology that is changing how we learn the need to humanize the interactions still resonates. In summary we decided that there was one thing for sure to happen…….constant changes and new challenges in the Roles and Trends of education.



NEW INSIGHTS INTO ROLES AND TRENDS                                                                               4






For Roles I found:

– Papa and Papa (2012) Leading the Adult Learners: Preparing Future Leaders and Professional Development of Those They Lead.  Openstax  CNX.

I enjoyed reading this one as it is close to what I have been thinking.


I found a good resource for Trends in an article by;

– Riedel, C (2014) 10 Major Technology Trends in Education.  The Journal.


I found it informative and it sure shows me that I still have much to learn about technology.