The influence of social class in basic adult education

wendell dryden
Peer learning can be defined as the acquisition of knowledge and skill through active helping and supporting among status equals or matched companions. It involves people from similar social groupings who are not professional teachers helping each other to learn and learning themselves by so doing.
Topping, Trends in Peer Learning
(Educational Psychology Vol. 25, No. 6, December 2005)

I do not claim these random case studies are typical or examples of good practice, simply that they tell us a number of things.
Alan Rogers, Functional Adult Literacy
Kalangala and Buvuma Islands, Uganda (2008)

"Well," I said. "If it was me, I'd pick answer three."

"Good," she said, satisfied. "That's what I picked, too. I just wanted to make sure I was right."

Suddenly, that feeling came upon me, as it does sometimes, and I started to laugh. Indignant, suspicious, she demanded to know why I was laughing at her. So I tried to explain.

I tried to explain that I was laughing at me, at the incongruity of all this. Why ask me these things? How did I become the arbiter of right answers? I'm just a tree planter who took two years to pass Grade Eleven math and then flunked out of university. I worked at fish farms and did the night flooding at outdoor rinks until I found a way to work inside during the winter. I'm someone once on welfare who got a job as a janitor, and then talked his way into working with low-income parents, and then adults learning to read, and now adults wanting to pass a GED test. But it's all hoaky. I'm just some guy. I clean toilets and ship fish and plant trees.

"I know," she said, "I think about that - about where you came from. It makes me think differently now about me."

wendell dryden

1 comment:

KarenB said...

Uncharacteristically brief, yet poignant. In just a few words, you've conveyed the power that belief in ourselves has to fuel learning. Good on ya!