The issue of low high school graduation rates for young people under 25 is a source of concern in the early 2000s.
Given the necessity of a high school diploma to ensuring a stable well-paying job, a large number of young people are forced to turn to general adult education to obtain or complete the prerequisites they need to pursue their academic or professional goals. Their influx into the adult education system is giving rise to many questions that have not been explored in the scientific literature. For example, how can we support young people with learning difficulties or social maladjustments if their profile and their psychological, psycho-educational and educational needs are not properly understood?
To what extent does the training of teachers in adult education centres prepare them to meet these students’ needs?
To what extent does the training of teachers in adult education centres prepare them to meet these students’ needs? A total of 610 young people aged 16 to 24 expressed six support needs: to consider the learner both individually and in a larger context, to develop a quality relationship with the students, to foster personal development at an age when identity issues are important, to establish a learning community between learners and the teacher, to link learning with the goals of social and professional integration, and to encourage consultation with guidance counsellors.
A total of 109 teachers identified five training needs: collaboration between teachers and other stakeholders, the development of classroom management skills, training in differentiation and the design of pedagogical materials, motivating young students, and understanding the behaviour and learning styles of students with learning difficulties or social maladjustments.
These results affect the structure of initial and continuing education programs and the preparation of teachers in adult education centres. These research findings could also contribute to the development of activities aimed at maximizing well-being and learning strategies and, incidentally, foster higher graduation rates, thus facilitating the integration of these young people into society and the job market.
Michelle Dumont, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Deposit of the research report: July 2013