Open Minds: The Latest Research on Adult Learner Outcomes

As a Florida adult educator, how open are you to using data and applying research? Research can apply to tutoring adults, counseling an adult learner, or making administrative decisions. If you like hearing stories, as told by numbers and adults, Open Minds may open your mind to applying the latest research. On May 10, join Dr. Margaret Patterson, Senior Researcher with Research Allies for Lifelong Learning (R-Ally), for this 3:45 session. Open Minds will discuss applying research on adult learner outcomes conducted in 2011 and 2012.

Are you open to looking at numbers? In 2012 R-AllyTM looked at outcomes data for adult education programs.* Data were from 2006-07 to 2010-11, the most current years available. Adult learners may have goals beyond learning English or basic skills. These goals might include getting or keeping a job. They may want to take the GED® test or go to college. If they meet a goal, they have made an outcome. Data on outcomes will reveal how outcomes change across time, both nationally and in Florida.

Are you open to hearing the rest of the story, beyond the numbers? In 2011 Dr. Patterson (with a team of researchers**) travelled to 7 different states to interview adult learners. The research team interviewed adults with GED credentials on their educational experiences from youth through adulthood. These interviewees included high school dropouts, immigrants, homeschoolers, and even 12th-grade completers. They didn’t hold back in sharing their stories. The outcomes they gained from their time in adult education may surprise you. This session will also consider their recommendations to adult educators. Find out what they suggested to make learning even better for future adult learners.


*The data source was U.S. Department of Education National Reporting System data.
** This study was originally funded by American Council on Education / GED® Testing Service.

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