Neil Hokanson Philosophy

My Philosophy
(ITEC 5160, Fall 2004)

My learning/teaching philosophy is that there are many roads to the objective. With a varied learning population it is important to develop and create multiple learning opportunities for students to succeed and meet overall objectives. A teacher serves as a facilitator in the process of education and evaluates the effectiveness of developed learning modules and lessons. Learning and teaching are processes that must be valid, authentic, varied, flexible, and as individualized as possible.

My Credo
(ADED 5240, Summer 2005)

I believe that as an adult educator I must respect the wealth of life experience that adults bring to any educational setting and facilitate the ability of learners to recognize where they are in learning situations (Taylor, et al., 2000, p. 313).   I believe that “adults experience situations, problems, and changes that are opportunities for and the basis of learning; and development is one possible response to these internal and external changes” (Taylor, et al., p. 9).  I believe that learning is change, and I have a responsibility to assist adult learners in the transformative process and in developing learning that lasts via reflection (Taylor, et al., pp. 9-10).  I believe that as an adult educator I should facilitate deep learning that goes “beyond conceptions and practices related to learning as information…toward conceptions and practices that focus on the possibility of learning as transformation” (Taylor, et al., p. 14).  I believe that “how I approach the learner’s real needs will affect what is really learned” (Taylor, et al., p. 15).  I believe in the importance of “critical reflection” and the development of the ability to carry out self-assessment and consider the question “Why do I think this way?” (Taylor, et al., p. 28).  I believe it is vital that adult learners engage in dialogue where “learners inquire into and respond openly to others’ ideas, at the same time thinking about and being willing to surface and question assumptions underlying their own and others’ statements” and in effect, become more aware of how they construct knowledge, recognize the sources of the ideas they currently hold, and engage with others in order to more effectively reconstruct knowledge as new experiences and reflections warrant (Taylor, et al., pp. 34 & 36).  I believe it is important to model self-discovery and nurture the ability to reflect on one’s experience and to take responsibility for how one will be in the future (Taylor, et al., p. 38).  I believe that the learner inevitably decides their learning goals, seeks appropriate resources, and actively engages with the process of learning and I should be there as a resource to provide advice, input, expertise, and directions (Taylor, et al., p. 39).  I believe that learning is a developmental process that is self-constructed but dependent on communal interaction to be effective (Taylor, et al., p. 43).  I believe in Daloz’s statement: 

When we no longer consider learning to be primarily the acquisition of knowledge, we can no longer view teaching as the bestowal of it.  If learning is about growth and growth requires trust, then teaching is about engendering trust, about nurturance—caring for growth.  (Taylor, et al., p. 326)

I believe ultimately that as an adult educator I serve as a mentor that prepares the learner adequately for the journey of learning, blazes the trail, provides a map, allows the learner to set the pace, provides a lifeline when challenges arise, and offers support and challenge to the adult learner (Taylor, et al., pp. 330-333).  Teaching adults is a shared journey and one that an adult educator must be willing to travel in order to have a lasting influence (Taylor, et al., p. 335).  This is what I believe.


Taylor, K., Marienau, C., & Fiddler, M.  (2000).  Developing Adult Learners:  Strategies for Teachers and Trainers.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.


- -

2004-2006 © Neil Hokanson