Sex and shame: Authenticity in adult education
The relationship between authenticity, or the expression of the genuine self, and transformative adult education was explored through the development of a model of adult education that was used to design a semester-long course on sexuality, spirituality and shame for Unitarian-Universalist seminary learners. Grounded Theory analysis of interviews with Unitarian-Universalist ministers and seminary learners was used to analyze the professional needs of Unitarian-Universalist ministers. This analysis was foundation for the development of the objectives of the course. The progression of the course and the implementation of the model of adult learning is described through a first-person narrative of the semester. The academic success of the course was determined through qualitative and quantitative measures of the learners' meeting the course objectives, including analysis of the learners' journals, observations in the classroom, and the Sexuality Opinion Survey. The relationships among the course content, the application of adult learning theories, the authenticity of each of the learners and the authenticity of the teacher are explored through reflective analysis and first-person narrative in order to demonstrate how authentic teaching and authentic learning can be supported by a model of effective adult education theories. A general framework for adult education which can be adapted to meet the needs of teachers, learners and subjects is offered as a way to facilitate authenticity in adult education.
0516: Continuing education
0527: Religious education