As it has developed over the years, my research has three different focuses within the field of adult education: transformational learning theory, faculty development and educational technology. At different times, these areas are variously interwoven and create exciting connections for exploration and further study.
My research in transformational learning has grown out of my original doctoral research and is being continued among several different groups of adult learners: ESL college students, teachers-in-training, incarcerated women and teachers learning technology. The instrument that I developed and published has been adapted for these adult learners in each of their specific topic areas. My research is evolving from the examination of learning activities to a deeper probing of the transformational learning experience itself. It is in this direction that I see my future research continuing to move.
My research and writing in the area of faculty development has its roots in my many experiences conducting faculty in-services and teacher education for several educational institutions. In 2000, my co-author and I published the book, The Adult Learning Model of Faculty Development regarding higher education faculty development. At this time we are also developing an extended international research project to further study higher education professional development.
My own, individual work in the area of technology has increasingly overlapped all three areas of my research. Many of my experiences in faculty development are in the area of technology use and its place in the curriculum. Additionally, as I have been involved in teacher education here at Fordham, I have been examining the transformational learning teachers and teachers-in-training experience as they learn technology application to educational practice. While I have been publishing articles and presenting papers on faculty and their needs as adult learners as they learn educational technology, I have written two books, one now in press, that focus on the opportunities educational technology professional development has for K-12 teachers and higher education faculty.
In another application of these three areas of interest, I have been researching adult learning in online professional development. This research is being conducted collaboratively with three other partners and is funded by a $1.4 million Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnership grant award from the Fund for Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). At this point we have evaluation data from the pilot online course offerings that were taken by 300 learners and are continuing to analyze these data. We have been accepted to present papers at the AERA 2002 conference regarding this online professional development program and research. Personally, I led related research projects in study of “hybrid” (face-to-face and online) model classes. The results have been centrally significant to the whole project and we are using the findings to formatively evaluate our primary online learning model and to begin to use this valuable design as an alternative model.
My future research will continue to be in the areas of faculty development, perspective transformation, and distance education/educational technology. I have seen how these areas continue to provide new opportunities to study adult learners in many contexts and look forward to the future. This research is being done individually and through partnerships and collaborations that are both synergistic and rewarding.
Dr. Kathy King. Kpking@fordham.edu. Last modified: 1/25/02
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