The Learner Silhouette
Learners are complex, which leads to challenges when seeking, locating, and referring to relevant adult education programs. Learner Silhouettes are one way of helping Service Provider Organizations (SPOs) – assessors, teachers, and case workers etc. - orient themselves within and navigate the complex web of adult education options that exist in Toronto and York Region as a means of identifying together (with the learner) learner pathways - past, present, and future. Learner Silhouettes can provide clarity during the process of referring learners to relevant programming, ultimately assisting them to visualize their learning journey.
Learner Silhouettes are basic understandings from which assessors and teachers across adult education programs can begin to become aware of and appreciate their learners' situations while determining adult education options relevant to learners' needs. Learner Silhouettes are not categories of learners; they involve learner context, academic needs (with respect to programming needed based on goal), and results of dialogue with the learner. Learner Silhouettes are used here to highlight the idea that SPOs and practitioners cannot possibly know the life situation and/or story of a learner prior to an initial conversation. Learner Silhouettes are preliminary understandings of an adult's needs, prior learning, and goals.
Core Questions The learners of concern in the Visualizing the Learning Journey project visit Service Providers for one reason – they wish to return to school. Purposes for returning to school can include achieving a credential, referral to upgrade skills (i.e. they've been told to return to school), or self- realization of a learning gap, among other reasons. The Core Questions provided via the link below can help a practitioner start the conversation with a learner.
From the conversation, a learner's Silhouette can begin to form both for the learner and the Service Provider, a necessary first step in ensuring effective referrals to adult education programs.