An adult education conference is often necessary between the student and teacher or advisor. The complexities of adult education often baffle the student who is nervous at being in the classroom and unfamiliar with education curricula.
Adults all have prior learning experiences in the workplace and in life, in general. An adult who is enrolling in basic education courses and who is unable to read may have already learned most of the math skills needed to pass the math portion of the course in the course of his employment. An adult who is enrolling in college courses with the intention of acquiring an undergraduate degree may have learned, through personal study or reading, much of the course work for the history and literature needs of the degree.
In order to assess which courses the adult student will need to complete, and to decide which direction those courses should take, the educator should hold an adult education conference with all adult students. The conference should also be held for the purposes of establishing a good working rapport with the student, reassuring and motivating the student and clarifying course expectations.
The term adult education conference also applies to conferences held between educators for the purpose of sharing ideas and plans to increase the effectiveness of adult education.
An adult education conference provides educators with the opportunity to share their teaching experiences. The conferences also provide opportunities to further research on adult education through professional collaboration.
An adult education conference serves to unify educators and to provide leadership to educators involved in adult and continuing education. Development of theories and best practices, and promotion of adult education standards are all valuable facets of these conferences.
Some of the most vital issues an adult education conference will deal with are the issues of government and public policy, and social change relevant to adult education. With over 30 million functionally illiterate adults in the United States and a severe shortage of adequately trained adult education teachers, these issues must be addressed.
Social change must take place to correct and halt the proliferation of illiteracy in the United States. Functionally illiterate adults foster a climate of illiteracy in their families and pass the trait on to their children. Yet the social climate is such that many of these adults are not encouraged to make the changes necessary to improve their lives and the lives of their children. Illiterate adults are instead encouraged to fade into the background by employers who cover-up and ignore the illiteracy, by educational systems that are overburdened and do not offer enough scheduling options or assistance in enrolling in basic education programs. It is up to society and government to change the way adult education is regarded and administered.