K4D Helpdesk Report

Effective adult education

Published on 24 May 2017

The most important element for successful adult literacy and numeracy learning is to take a people-centred approach. Literacy and numeracy teaching should be incorporated into subjects that are directly relevant and useful for participants. Ideally, learners would be consulted on their priorities and be involved in the planning and design of the programme and of educational materials. The most effective learning will happen when adults are actively engaged in the construction of their own knowledge. Inter-generational or family learning programmes is one possible approach which has seen success in being responsiveness to the needs and concerns of learners.

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Bolton, L (2017). Effective adult education. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies

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published by
Institute of Development Studies
Bolton, Laura


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