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  • Date Submitted: 10/05/2010 08:03 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.1 
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Program planning and development in adult education
By obedt Gurrirab
e-mail: ogurirab@yahoo.com
This article briefly reviews how program planning has evolved from the behaviorist
product focus to the humanist process focus. Adult educators should take the time to
review models which have influenced programming like Tyler, Houle, Knowles, Sork, and
Caffarella. These models may have limitations that include ignoring power
relationships and social contexts. Moving from point A to point B may not be as direct as
a model assumes. Today’s planner needs a globally integrated model which takes into
account multiple and simultaneous responsibilities, last minute decisions and
adjustments, conflicting interests, and can begin or end, whenever and wherever
stakeholders determine. Ultimately, program planners must determine what is to be
accomplished as a result of a program and what evidence will be accepted that the
program has accomplished its results. Planning models can help a planner navigate
seemingly uncharted waters.
In a review of the literature of program planning which included Caffarella
(2002), Houle (1996), Jarvis (1995), Knowles (1990), Knox (1980), Kowalski (1988),
Sork (2000), and Tyler (1949). I have found more task description for planners in adult
education and prescription of the steps to take rather than a thorough body of research
supporting either of these. I have not discovered in these readings a single, formally
accepted, succinct definition of program planning in adult education. Nor have I found a
source that recommends one planning model over another or even provides a
classification of models according to their application. (I don’t find Pennington and
Greene’s charts very applicable in a day-to-day program planner way of thinking.)—
Pennington and Greene (1976) discovered at the outset, “Research findings on which to
base decisions about the superiority of one approach to planning over any other are...


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