ADTED 460 Prospective Students

Introducing the Concept of Critically Reflective Practice

In "The Concept of Critically Reflective Practice" (available in eReserves) Stephen Brookfield suggests the importance of critical reflection in encouraging  "more inclusive, collaborative, and democratic forms of adult education" (p. 47). He views this process on the part of the adult educator as crucial in "increas[ing] our chance of taking informed actions...that spring from researched experience, that are underpinned by a clear rationale, and that have the chance of achieving the consequences intended" (p. 47).

Please note: Much of the terminology in the chapter will probably be unfamiliar to you, but it is very important for this and subsequent courses. This chapter will provide you with a starting point for becoming a critical inquirer into the field of adult education. However, since many of the terms and concepts will be new to you, you're definitely not expected to be able to fully understand the chapter at this point. Indeed, many new students report that it seems as if Brookfield is writing in a completely different language! One of the purposes of having you read the chapter is to give you a benchmark against which to measure your progress in learning about this field. By the end of the course (believe it or not), you'll definitely know what Brookfield is getting at in the chapter.

You may even choose as your final assignment (Assignment 6) to re-read the chapter and to compare your initial impressions, thoughts, and feelings to your ideas about the chapter at the end of the course. This option for a final paper was suggested by a student in an earlier section of the course. Subsequently, a number of students have noted that engaging in this comparison helped in confirming to themselves how far they had come in a few short weeks.