Proyecto Tesis (Disertación)



A major applied research project presented to Programs

for Higher Education in partial fulfillment

of the requirements for the degree

of Doctor of Education


Nova Southeastern University

January, 1995



Alberto Rodríguez Rodríguez


The number of students in adult education programs offered in the public education system in Puerto Rico has increased in the past few years and is continuing to increase. Adult students in these programs are taught by teachers with very little or no preparation at all in adult education. The teachers' lack of knowledge about adult development and learning makes them use methods and techniques which many times do not function with adult students.

Prior to conducting this Major Applied Research Project, there was no adult teacher education curriculum at IAU, Ponce Campus to prepare adult education teachers. The purpose of this study was to develop an undergraduate adult teacher education curriculum at the Ponce Campus of the Inter American University.

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico, the only university with an adult education program on the island, recognizes the need there is for a curriculum to prepare teachers of adult students. The problem was that there was no such curriculum at IAU, Ponce Campus.

The research questions for this study were (a) What should be the conceptual framework for the adult teacher education curriculum? (b) What are the appropriate processes for developing a curriculum in adult teacher education? (c) What external and internal factors should be considered in developing this curriculum? (d) What elements should a curriculum for the preparation of adult education teachers include? (e) What courses should be included? (f) What processes should be considered for the implementation of the adult teacher education curriculum? (g) What type of adult teacher education curriculum should be developed? (h) What changes should be made within the education department to incorporate this curriculum? (i) What internal and external stakeholders should be considered in the design, development, and implementation of this curriculum? (j) What should be the implementation plan? (k) How should this curriculum be evaluated?

The development problem-solving methodology was used in this study because the solution to the problem was a product. Specific procedures employed to develop the adult teacher education curriculum included (a) a review of the literature; (b) communications with Stateside university and colleges which have adult teacher education curricula; (c) interviews with the Chancellor, the Dean of Academic Affairs, the Director of the Education Department at IAU Ponce Campus, and with the Regional Supervisor of the Adult Education Program of the Ponce region; (d) a questionnaire administered to the basic adult education teachers; (e) data analysis of the questionnaire; (f) development of the adult teacher education curriculum, and (g) validation of the adult teacher education curriculum.

The results of the needs assessment survey indicated that (a) adult basic education teachers consider that there is a need for an adult teacher education curriculum, (b) adult basic education teachers are not prepared in adult education, (c) most adult education teachers are interested in pursuing a minor concentration in adult education, (d) the majority of the respondents are willing to take university courses in adult education, (e) there is a need for an adult teacher education curriculum in the Ponce region to prepare adult basic education teachers, and (f) the adult teacher education curriculum should be based on Knowles' andragogy model.

Recommendations from the study include (a) to implement the adult basic teacher education curriculum at the Ponce Campus, (b) to create a minor concentration in adult basic education (c) to encourage research in adult education, (d) to develop a partnership with the public Department of Education for the preparation of adult basic education teachers, (e) to encourage faculty and staff activities in adult education, (f) to take a more proactive stance in relation to the field of adult education, (g) to encourage the development and implementation of innovations in adult education, (h) to integrate the andragogy model in the preparation of prospective teachers, and (i) to suggest the certification of adult basic education teachers to the public Department of Education.


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