Contributing to Adult Education

Mark Leigh PTTLS assignment 22/9/10The following is an explanation of why I feel I can contribute in the field of Adult education.
My background is in Industrial control systems where I spent 20 years as an Engineer, writing software control systems for use in the Water treatment, chemicals, Food & drink, Oil & Gas, and Nuclear processing Industries. This exposed me to a wide variety of problems and experiences.
Throughout my time in industry there are two aspects of the way I worked which I feel have a bearing on my decision to become involved in Education. The first is my enjoyment of helping others. This desire to help others often came as a detriment to my own career. I was told on many occasions that I should spend more time concerning myself with my own problems and less time ???frittering the time away??? involving myself with the problems of others! In fact , I often couldn??™t help myself when I knew I could suggest a way that would help my colleagues in some shape or form.
The other aspect of my personality and working method which I think is relevant is that I was never an ???Empire Builder???. By this I mean that some people can be very protective of their working methods and knowledge and would rather keep this to themselves. Its probably fair to say that in many cases, this is a type of One upmanship which albeit by a rather selfish route can lead to a furthering and progression of one??™s career. I have always been aware of this but have preferred to stick to the knowledge sharing path , possibly to the detriment of my own career.
Regarding my relationship with academia, although I have an Engineering Degree, I have never considered myself an academic as such. This might sound an odd thing to say when embarking on a new career as a teacher/ lecturer , but I feel that although I have a basic grounding in science, numeracy, literacy, ICT and some appreciation of history and politics, I have never found academic work easy, and I feel that I have an affinity with the difficulties faced by young people and older people who simply find learning new ideas hard. Again, I feel this is a further justification for my new involvement in education.
One final point is that I am now using some of the computer programming skills & techniques that I have acquired in Industry to develop Educational software. I believe that approaching Educational software development from a different viewpoint ie from outside the academic world might bring a new dimension to providing software learning aids. I have already developed a program to help Secondary special needs children learn to type, and am actively looking into further learning aid applications.