Diverse Experiences and Perspectives in Today’s College Classrooms: Uniting the Traditional and Nontraditional Adult Learner in their Quest for Higher Education
Philip Ray Jones, Ph.D.

This paper looks at how the face of the college and university classroom has dramatically changed. It highlights how today’s postsecondary classroom is strongly characterized by a combination of both “traditional” and “nontraditional” adult learners age 25 and older who are united by the common goal of achieving a high quality higher education. The uniting of these two critical student groups is indeed critical, especially as the nontraditional student population is expected to dramatically increase in the upcoming years. Ultimately, this paper argues that the instructor can eliminate the wall that frequently exists between these two student groups in the classroom by means of three innovative methods which are (a) implementing more “team” oriented assignments and projects into the curriculum, (b) building a strong sense of community through classroom dialogue and listening, and (c) removing him or herself as the consistent “authoritative expert” in the classroom and creating a participatory learning environment among instructor and student.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v4n1a2