Adult Educators need to deal with the issue of stress which is the source of illness and diseases such as mental illness, heart disease, stroke, immune system response, and possibly cancer (McClary, 1990).
“Learning to cope with stress is invaluable for the Adult student. Adult Educators need to deal with the issue.” (p.g. 65).
McClary stated that stress resulted in decreased job satisfaction, loss of productivity, illness, and even death. To deal with stress, Adult students might connect stress to drug-use, take up student assistance programs or any other forms to ensure study is under control.
Individual who works other life-challenging works, for example, challenges of marriage, parenting, military tours of duty, and work with AIDS victims are going through enormous amount of stress.
How does an Adult Educator improve life?
According to McClary, when Adults return to a traditional or a non-traditional learning environment, their ability to cope with frustration, pressure, conflict, and positive and negative life events (including environmental conditions) is often an important aspect of their success and reported satisfaction. He studied Malcolm Knowle’s Theory, in which, it explained how Adults succeed in learning:
- In situations where they are highly motivated
- Where they can participate in the learning process.
- Where learning content has practical applications.
Adult students not only participate in formal learning (e.g. workplace) and informal learning (daily routine or nonroutine tasks), they also can get the stress from outside of work such as family, community etc.
Rodriguez suggested a few strategies to cope with stress:
- A program designed to allow for and be responsive to stress factors that influence students.
- Orientation sessions to acquaint students with the effects of stress and how it can be managed in the learning environment.
- Individualised programs of study based on a personal contract of commitment and intent.
- Integration of the program of study into the students’ work and lives, recognising that their Education does not necessary rank first in priority.
- Personal attention, advising, and mentoring, along with social support.
- Provision of academic challenge and rigor for Adults who are developmentally ripe for an intense Educational experience.
The successful path way in Adult Education includes:
- How to manage stress?
- How to adjust to live events?
- How to adjust to developmental tasks and life experiences?
We need to learn skills to cope with everyday’s frustration, conflict, pressure and positive and negative life events. Coping with stress and stress management are the two ideas in Adult Education where a student can allow a certain degree of stress into his/her study life to make it effective.
McClary, S.A. 1990 Stress, coping and Adult Education in Applying Adult Development Strategies by Rossman, M.H. & Rossman, M.E. Issue number 45. New directions for Adult and Continuing Education. Jossey.-Bass publication.