Contributor(s)M.H. Pedrosa-de-Jesus, C. Evans, Z. Charlesworth & E. Cools
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AbstractIt is common wisdom in the area of adult education that the educator's relational attitudes influence knowledge construction on the part of the learners. It is the aim of this paper to contribute to an empirical evaluation of this idea. We identified four basic relational attitudes of the educator's, namely: (i) favoring cooperation, (ii) directivity, (iii) flexibility, and (iv) ability to focus on the participants. Then, we identified 31 prototypical types of behavior that are commonly enacted by educators in the classroom. We performed multiple observations of several adult education courses, scoring each educator on the list of 31 behavior types. We performed factor analysis and then correlated such scores and the corresponding attitudes to indexes of the participants' levels of attention, participation and comprehension. The results corroborate our hypotheses. Interestingly, several differences was found between novice and expert teachers. Overall, our findings support the socio-constructivist idea that knowing is a transformational process of learning that takes place within a relational context.