To state that the world has slightly changed from the time the current crop of senior citizens was young would be a total understatement and complete disregard to what has been accomplished so far as the world embraces the idea of a global village fully. Technological advances such as social media define the direction of life in the modern society, and it is only through constant enlightenment that an individual can thrive appropriately. It is no secret that the adults of today above the age of 35 lived in an entirely different world. Together with the idea of catching up with technology, there are numerous motivating factors and positive outcomes that are associated with adult education. Besides adult education, critical thinking remains a relevant undertaking for any individual committed to experiencing a positive life. Putting all that into perspective, the main agenda of this paper is to present a general personal perspective regarding adult education and critical thinking. For the world to stay on the right course towards a better future, critical thinking and adult education should be incorporated fully in the proper way of living.
True to the wise words of Einstein, learning remains a lifelong process. Accomplished by both formal and informal means, attaining education has been shown to affect the life of an individual positively. Adult education is no different from regular learning activities as majorities know them. Adult education is motivated by the desire of attaining new skills or advancing the current ones to make life better. In an expansive study carried out by Kleiner, Carver, Hagedom and Chapman (2005), a major justification for the adult education was work-related. Most of the adults who were found to be going back to schools as insinuated by the study were to have proper chances of career developments. Within the same study, it was found that adults with a previously higher level of education were more likely to walk down the road of lifelong learning compared to those who had a low level of education. It is because of the obvious reasons such as job promotion to the management positions that majority of the working adults consider enhancing their skills. Factoring in the issue of technology, working adults have also been forced to embrace on-the-job learning so that they remain relevant to most companies. Taking the example of the health institution, the emergence of new medical tools such as electronic medical records and robotic surgery has forced adult practitioners to embrace adult learning.
Putting aside the issue of professional development, which confers a positive economic outlook, adult education promotes personal growth. A common analogy dictates that a well-educated individual is deemed to make better life choices than the person with less intellectual capabilities. A well-educated adult has the guarantee of making healthy decisions and instilling the same principles within the generation. When senior citizens become educated, the entire society remains with higher chances of leaping towards the positive direction. It is due to the fact that, besides instilling learning motives in the young generations, educated adults remain highly creative and show appreciation for the environment and other cultures, thereby creating a harmonious living system.
Experts define critical thinking as the comprehensive analysis and rational visualization of ideas before making a certain judgment. With regards to Bowell and Kemp (2014) and by taking a step back to several decades behind, critical thinking was an aspect that was solely left to the professionals or intellectuals. However, as time has evolved, so does the significance of critical thinking. Through critical thinking, many people can make rational life choices. Majority assume that critical thinking is for the learned or activities such as being critical of others or a process for showcasing the prowess of an individual in rational thinking. The plain simple truth is that critical thinking does not solely rely on the strong intellectual capabilities but rather the unique ability to use the available information at hand to make rational choices. However, this fact does not mean that intellectual skills are irrelevant in the due process. Compared to the people with less education, learned individuals can make rational choices given their ability to think of the future consequences.
By linking adult education and critical thinking together, it remains clear that the two aspects go hand in hand towards making life better for the majority. In a dynamic society that is strongly related to technology, most life aspects are fast changing. While adult education plays a part in familiarizing individuals with what is going on, it is only through critical thinking that senior people can deduce informed choices that affect the society positively. It is hard to deny the fact that lifelong process helps people continue synthesizing unique ideas, but it is only through rational thinking that the ideas are turned into useful manifestations. In conclusion, it is significant to acknowledge the fact that while the two are separate entities, adult education, and critical thinking are highly correlated in making the society a better place for all through empowering people to make rational decisions.
Bowell, T., & Kemp, G. (2014). Critical thinking: A concise guide. New York, NY: Routledge.
Kleiner, B., Carver, P., Hagedorn, M., & Chapman, C. (2005). Participation in Adult Education for Work-Related Reasons, 2002-03. Statistical Analysis Report. NCES 2006-040. National Center for Education Statistics. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED486622.pdf
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