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Adult Learning and Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Adult Learning and Leadership

In the Department of Organization & Leadership

Course Listing > courses


Program Courses:

Please check the Class Schedule or contact the program for specific course availability for each semester:

ORLD 4050 Introduction to adult and continuing education

An introduction to the professional field of adult and continuing education: fields of practice (higher education, workplace, management training, social action, literacy and the like, and their evolution, and new challenges); schools of thought such as pragmatism, radicalism and humanism and their transformation and their relevance; clarification of concepts; and discussion of emerging issues and challenges.

Instructor(s): Jeanne Bitterman, Judith Parker

ORLD 4051 How adults learn
Role and perspective changes in adulthood, concepts of maturity, learning theories, personality development, cognitive learning and thinking, creativity, interests and attitudes, motivation, self-concept, and achieving styles. Implications for the education of adults in a wide variety of workplace, community, and educational settings.
Instructor(s): Arthur Langer

ORLD 4053 Facilitating adult learning
In-depth consideration of issues, strategies, and methods for facilitating adult learning. Theory is considered in relationship to practice. Methods are identified that are suited to adult learning in different settings, and to the role played by groups in individual to team learning. No prerequisites required, but learning is enhanced when taken following ORLD 4051.
Instructor(s): Jeanne Bitterman

ORLD 4800 Workshop in higher and adult education
Special topics or events related to the administration of programs in adult education. Topics change each semester. Open to degree and non-degree students.

ORLD 4815 Developing critical thinkers

This workshop will explore answers to questions concerning facilitating adult learning. Presentations from the workshop leader will be interspersed with small group exercises focusing on different approaches to helping adults learn. Participants will be encouraged to explore their own experiences as learners and facilitators and to consider how these experiences might help them to reframe their practice.

Instructor(s): Stephen Brookfield

ORLD 4827 Fostering transformative learning
In this course, we will explore how adult learners transform their habits of mind through critical self-reflection and discourse. We will also examine the relationships between individuation, authenticity, and transformation. We will focus on practical and innovative strategies for fostering transformative learning in adult education settings. This is a distance learning course.
Instructor(s): Patricia Cranton

ORLD 4828 Imagination, authenticity and individuation in transformative learning
Participants in this course will engage in an in-depth exploration of transformative learning with an emphasis on the role of affect and imagination in the learning process. The rational, cognitive approach will be reviewed for those participants unfamiliar with the traditional theory. We will investigate how the journey of becoming authentic is a transformative process. Jung's concept of individuation - differentiating one's Self from the collective- will be used as yet another lens through which we can view transformation.
Instructor(s): Patricia Cranton

ORLD 4844 Helping adults learn
In this course, participants will explore the ways in which adults learn critical thinking and they will experience different techniques to teach critical thinking. Exercises to be reviewed will include: Scenario analysis, heroes and villains, crisis decision simulation and critical incidents. The course will mix presentations by the leader with small group exercises.
Instructor(s): Stephen Brookfield

ORLD 4850 Discussion as a way of teaching
Discussion is one of the most frequently used teaching methodologies in higher and adult education today. This 2-day workshop explores the rationale for the use of discussion, examines some of the most frequently used discussion approaches, and investigates the use of discussion in specific teaching contexts. It is based on Stephen Brookfield (the workshop leader) and Stephen Preskill's book Discussion as a Way of Teaching, a 1999 Educational Studies Association Critics' Choice.
Instructor(s): Stephen Brookfield

ORLD 4900 Research and independent study in adult education

Permission of instructor required.

Instructor(s): Jeanne Bitterman

ORLD 5053 Developing and managing adult learning programs

Organization studied in relation to community structure and social forces. Topics covered include: Finance and facilities, personnel, program, and community relations. Major emphasis on case analysis.

Instructor(s): Marie Volpe

ORLD 5054 Strategy development as a learning process in organizations
This course provides a comprehensive view of organizational strategy from a learning perspective. Students examine various models for facilitating the development of strategic initiatives through learning interventions.
Instructor(s): Lyle Yorks

ORLD 5054 Strategy development as a learning process in organizations
This course provides a comprehensive view of organizational strategy from a learning perspective. Students examine various models for facilitating the development of strategic initiatives through learning interventions.
Instructor(s): Lyle Yorks

ORLD 5055 Staff development and training
Introductory course covering the organization, management, and instructional process involved in staff training and development programs in business, industry, unions, healthcare institutions, government, and other noncollegiate settings. Current developments, innovative practices, and issues. This course is also offered in a distance learning format.
Instructor(s): Judith O'Neil, Judith Parker

ORLD 5057 Adult learning and education: Theory and practice

Prerequisite: ORLD 4050, ORLD 4051, or ORLD 4053. Advanced seminar in theory development through a synthesis of the writings of selected philosophers, social scientists, and educators. History and transformation of adult education philosophy and theory; cultural, social and political contexts of theory-building; critical analysis of the main schools of thought; discussion of new challenges to adult learning and education theory (social learning, organizational learning).

ORLD 5061 The learning organization
This course describes theory and practice in creating learning organizations. In-depth attention is given to action science as a framework for organizational learning. Readings and case studies provide insight into learning at individual, group, and organizational levels. ORLD 5055 or its equivalent is a prerequisite. Education Leadership Ed.D. students are exempt from the prerequisite.
Instructor(s): Terrence Maltbia

ORLD 5062 Human resource development in organizations

A comprehensive view of the field of human resource development. The emphasis is on how HRD relates to a changing workplace and how emerging theories of strategic and performance management relate to the learning and development needs of people and organizations. Prerequisite: ORLD 5055 or ORLJ 5003 (Organizational Psychology students), or instructor permission.

Instructor(s): Lyle Yorks

ORLD 5550 Research on organizational learning
Students will read and discuss theory and research on organizational learning for knowledge/expertise creation and sharing; and review, design, or conduct research in schools, businesses, or not-for-profit organizations.
Instructor(s): Martha Gephart

ORLD 5815 Critical theory and adult learning
In this workshop, participants examine major figures in the critical theory tradition. The implications of the ideas of notable individuals such as Marcuse, Fromm and Foucault are considered as they relate to adult learning and the practice of adult education.
Instructor(s): Stephen Brookfield

ORLD 5821 Leveraging emotional intelligence (EQ) to enhance organizational effectiveness

Leveraging Emotional Intelligence (EQ) to Enhance Organizational Effectiveness will explore research, best practices, and future directions. Students will learn to select among popular EQ assessment and measurement tools, distinguish between cognitive learning and emotional learning strategies, effectively position the business case for EQ, and evaluate the effectiveness of EQ learning strategies. Participants will receive personal profiles based on three popular EQ assessments and applied insights to leadership development strategies including executive coaching.

Instructor(s): Terrence Maltbia

ORLD 5822 Building productive relationship with social intelligence (SQ)
The Workplace Learning Institute. Building Productive Relationships with Social Intelligence (SQ) describes the components of the emerging emotional economy and why its important to organizational performance, expand EQ capability by amplifying social intelligent components, examine the social neuroscience behind the dynamics of productive relationships, combine non-verbal agility to expand empathic accuracy for improved communication, and develop foundational human interaction skills to enhance relationships. Participants will examine the results of 2 assessments: (1) NBI (Thinking Style) and (2) Team Roles Inventory with a focus on devising small group and team development interventions.
Instructor(s): Terrence Maltbia

ORLD 5823 Building 21st century organizational capability with cultural intelligence
The Workplace Learning Institute. Building 21st Century Organizational Capability with Cultural Intelligence (CQ) students will learn a strategic learning and leadership framework used to guide cultural diversity interventions in organizations, examine the theoretical and philosophical foundations associated with evidence-based cultural diversity strategies, explore a set of core practices informed by important leadership questions, experiment with sample tools designed to launch strategic cultural diversity processes, apply strategic diversity learning and change process to personal project to integrate key learning. Participants will examine how three assessments (i.e., Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire, CQ Assessment, and Bennett's Intercultural Development Inventory) can be used to inform the design and implementation of various learning strategies focused on building a leveraging diversity capacity in the workplace.
Instructor(s): Terrence Maltbia

ORLD 5900 Research and indepedent study in adult education

Permission required. Conduct research studies (not a part of a doctoral dissertation) under guidance. Focus on a particular institution or type of institution, e.g., college of liberal arts, professional school, community college.


Instructor(s): Marie Volpe

ORLD 6900 Research and independent study in adult education

Permission of instructor required.


Instructor(s): Terrence Maltbia

ORLD 7500 Dissertation seminar in adult education

Permission required. Students should have completed most or all coursework (including research methods courses) and have passed the certification examination. The course is intended for students who have identified a reasonably narrow area for research and have already completed a preliminary literature review. The course will assist the student in design, methods, and other matters of concern in the preparation of an acceptable dissertation proposal.

ORLD 7900 Directed Dissertation Research
Permission required. All doctoral students eligible for this course must register each semester until a proposal hearing has occurred and a proposal has been approved.
Instructor(s): Jeanne Bitterman, Arthur Langer

ORLD 8900 Dissertation Advisement in Adult Education
Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D./Ph.D. degrees.
Instructor(s): Jeanne Bitterman, Victoria Marsick, Judith O'Neil, Lyle Yorks



Management and Leadership Skills in Practice


Somatic Learning and Leadership