Summary and Critique: Boydell, T. Facilitation of Adult Development

State your understanding of the Main Thesis or Theses of the Article

The aim of the article to narrate the authors’ experiences while facilitating the development of adult education as a management consultant and in a polytechnic. Boydell relates all his experiences with developmental framework modes of being and learning which he created and expounded together with his peers. The article also tries to connect these with various theories, related models, strategies and practice which can be used in the classroom, in an organization and the society in general. The article allows the reader to gain crucial knowledge, skills, and applied competencies that can facilitate the management and teaching of adults. In addition, the article provides important information which can be used to facilitate well structured and varied learning programs to encourage learners to be active participants and confident in the learning process.

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The article also aims to provide the reader with the opportunity to reflect and improve on their learning process. As such, the article provides some ideas about learning, which offer the reader a chance on how they can use them as a basis to reflect on how they have been learning and think about the techniques, tools, and practices which they can use to make their learning more effective. In addition, the article also aims at helping the reader use different types of modes to enhance their learning process, develop the ability to think for themselves, have their own ways of doing things by generating one’s own ideas.

Critique of the Article

The article is very good and provides comprehensive information on how to facilitate the development of adult learning. First, the author uses his personal experiences and extensive research to provide evidence and come up with an all-inclusive article. For instance, the author develops different frameworks of modes which first originated from the Netherlands in the 1970s. Boydell together with his colleagues picked up the original research studies and tried to refine it. Their study involves an impressive number of mangers (150 managers) in various organizations located in the United Kingdom which allows them to come up with an informed conclusion (Boydell, 2016). With the extensive research using both individuals and organizations, the author was, and his peers were able to come up with a well-organized and comprehensive seven modes of learning, classified into three groups. The article also explains each mode explicitly by providing all the necessary facts and information. The explicit explanation is very useful to introduce the different modes and skills to the reader. It helps the reader understand all these modes which are very important to learn new ideas, skills or concepts (Boydell, 2016). The article has been able to provide guided instruction on the basic understanding of skills, practices, and tools which the author is aiming to explain. The information in the article will have a significant and positive impact on the reader’s learning process. It will help develop an engaging learning process at all levels which giving the learner the best chance of becoming successful.

The main weakness of the article is focusing too much on the aspect of self-belief as the main regulator and motivator of performance and improving the learning process. Although there is no denying that self-belief is crucial to improving one’s learning process, the author has over-focused on it without providing other practice approaches for improving performance. For instance, all the modes have focused on explaining how a person can improve their learning practices through some kind of self-belief. The author should have incorporated some evidence-based approaches which can help to facilitate the development of adult learning.

Important Insights Gained from Reading the Article and how they Impact an Educator.

One of the most important insights gained from the article is about self-belief. The article considers believing in oneself as one of the most important and influential motivators for improving how people learn. Reading the seven modes provide by the article one can note that self-belief can relate to a number of motivational processes such as setting goals and causal attributions, which can aid in improving the learning process. For instance, (Boydell, 2016) argues that when one becomes aware of your internal perspective and assumptions and bring them into your consciousness, you become better at managing yourself. Working in adult education, this will help me instill self-confidence and other cognitive, motivational processes to improve their learning process. Another important takeaway in the article is the seven mode framework, which is very important in the learning process. The modes are at the core of the adult learning process. As an educator for adults, I will be able to utilize the framework to ensure to improve the learner experience either in the classroom or in an organization. Finally, the article provides a crucial insight into the learning process of adult persons. In general, the article has provided comprehensive research with important information and facts about the learning process. This can form a basis from which a professional in adult education can positively impact their student’s performance.

Three Questions to the Author.

  • As an educator working with adults, one must create a course that can create a difference in their lives. You want to create content which can inspire them, change their mind sets, and improve their performance. With the challenges of working with adults who have previous knowledge and fixed ideas, how will the concepts discussed in the article help them meet their needs and achieve their goals?
  • The article has discussed various practices and tools to which can be used in the classroom to improve performance. With technology advancing fast, eLearning is also tremendously growing. As such, how can your ideas be integrated with eLearning systems to help adults who would want to learn online?
  • Adults might have their own way and styles in which they prefer to learn. For instance, they prefer to learn in a specific way, which depends on their personality, abilities, character, and personalities. This might pose a challenge to the educator because everyone might have his own unique style which he desires. How educators try to deal with this kind of challenge and ensure everyone is comfortable with the teaching style being used?

Additional Comments

The article is very good, providing valid and sufficient information on ways in which adult education can be facilitated. The article can be used as a basis for further research in the future and help improve the topic. It is also very important to develop individual and collectively, effective learning practices which ensure both the learners and educator facilitate the learning process in an efficient manner.



Boydell, T. (2016). Facilitation of adult development. Adult Learning27(1), 7-15.