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versión On-line ISSN 1729-8091

EduSol vol.23 no.83 Guantánamo abr.-jun. 2023  Epub 03-Mayo-2023


Original article

Curriculum planning and learning outcomes for adult learners in non-school programs

0000-0002-0762-5789Mavila Neria Ponce Facundo1  *  , 0000-0003-0619-1656Victoria Rosalbina Ponce Facundo1  , 0000-0002-3350-0648Graciela Guerra Laurel1 

1Universidad Cesar Vallejo. Perú.


The educational process requires foresight, achievement and control of the process of curriculum implementation and development. The objective is to present a curricular planning model, based on teaching-learning by competencies for adult students in non-school programs in Peru. It is a documentary research, descriptive in nature and involved a bibliographic review. The study was framed in the strategies, resources and pedagogical innovations in education. The results obtained point to the need to design a model of curriculum planning, experiential and flexible under the teaching-learning by competencies, with innovative methodological strategies that facilitate the updating of facilitators.

Key words: Curriculum planning; teaching-learning by competencies; out-of-school programs; adult learners


In the current context of Peru, there is a technological-scientific development of its society, which has changing and progressive characteristics, demanding relevant changes from the academic to the educational system. As a consequence, many of the productive sectors demand qualified labors that develop a combination of academic and professional technical competencies, assuming academic competency as a combination of attributes, such as knowledge, attitudes and values, related to the programmatic contents of non-school studies.

In addition, technical competence, also known as labor competence, is the set of attributes, skills and abilities that are added to the work to obtain an efficient and effective performance in the work performed. These changes that society is experiencing require that education, from all levels, produce answers to the challenges faced by a globalized Peruvian economy, which also requires awareness to have a qualified, updated and prepared workforce that allows a high level of productivity, but also ensures the ability to meet the needs of a rapidly changing market with many uncertainties (González, 2022).

Based on these assumptions, in the Peruvian educational context, education has been forced to rethink the preparation of adults in non-school programs, knowing that the costs of adult education are high and the profile of the graduate is very poor (Fernandez, Izarra and Izarra, 2021). It gives rise, then, to a non-school technical education assumed as an educational level and which has some curricular tests with the intention of amending the demands of the industrial sector and the need to have qualified workers.

According to Flores and Trujillo (2023), these requirements are related to taking advantage of the preparation of adults as participants in the training process and achieving a higher profile of the graduate, characterized by quality in the labor, social and technological fields.

In summary, training in non-school-based programs is an educational alternative that allows students to acquire specific skills and knowledge for their personal and professional development in an accessible and flexible manner (Solórzano and De Armas, 2019).

All this states that current non-school labor education should train adults not only in skills and abilities, but also in a performance that empowers work based on a profile appropriate to the social context, with appropriate human and spiritual values, professionally and familiarly committed, and willing to provide high quality services to their community.


In the past, labor education in Peru responded to the development of programs based on the identification of goals and the implementation of a quantitative planning based on data, with fragmented and disintegrated purposes, without a logical sequence that evidenced achievements; it emphasized success from the academic point of view, in clear opposition to the professional and social competence of the adult in training.

The competency-based learning-teaching approach assumes the need to build new curricular models that do not exclude pedagogical practices and the real needs of the Peruvian labor market; that is why a curriculum based on basic, generic and specific competencies should be organized, which in the future will offer a more complete preparation of the graduate (Chauca et al., 2019). The productive processes currently require workers who are able to make decisions to learn and adapt to organizations and to the various contingencies that society needs.

It is stated as imminent, then, the curricular discussion based on the link between the requirements and demands of companies and the educational task. In general terms, there is a need to structure a curriculum planning that responds to the achievement of learning that can be generalized to different contexts, transferring knowledge to the resolution of problems in the productive and social sector.

In this context, which many mistakenly call post-pandemic of Covid-19, it is necessary to face changes and challenges continuously, which makes indispensable a deep transformation of the formative processes applied in the non-school programs directed to the adult population, which must contemplate a vision that implements an experiential language of the teaching-learning process by competences for the planning, execution and evaluation of these non-school programs.

It is necessary to redefine the curriculum of non-school programs for adults, to insert it within the framework of national policies that guide the regional and national development of Peru, trying to incorporate educational, scientific and technological advances and innovations that allow the preparation of a competent worker, qualified in the technological area corresponding to the sector where he/she works, with values, morals, knowledge, aptitudes, and high competencies that do not admit any questioning whatsoever.

The redefinition of the curriculum of non-school-based programs refers to the review and updating of the contents and teaching methodologies used in educational programs that are not linked to traditional school institutions, such as adult education programs, vocational training, job training and other non-formal education programs (Sánchez and Calle, 2019).

For Sánchez and Calle (2019) the curricular redefinition of these programs seeks to adapt them to the needs and demands of today's society, as well as to improve their quality and effectiveness. This implies a critical evaluation of the learning objectives, the teaching methods used, the didactic materials and the technological resources available.

To carry out the curricular redefinition of non-school-based programs, it is important to have the participation of experts in the field, including educators, vocational training specialists and employers. It is also important to involve students and end users of the programs to ensure that the proposed changes are relevant and useful to them. In summary, curriculum redefinition of non-school-based programs seeks to improve the quality and relevance of non-formal education, ensuring that programs are up-to-date and adapted to the needs of today's society (Sánchez and Calle, 2019).

It is important to point out that the competency-based training approach is appropriately linked to the new graduate profile of non-school programs for the adult population, given that it develops qualities and characteristics, among which stand out entrepreneurship; teamwork; initiative and motivation and creativity to provide solutions to various problems; with scientific and technical knowledge; with marked flexibility to make decisions; managerial and supervise in the industrial or commercial sector, with an effective, efficient performance and capacity to also transfer what they have learned to their peers in all areas in which they work.

Thus, Guamán and Venet (2019) affirm that competency-based training is in the interest of adult individuals, since they get education to prepare them more towards the needs of the public or private employer sector. The government is even more interested, since it increases the quality of training.

Adults in non-school programs must have a profile that leads them to be trained for liberating work, with basic skills of emancipatory critical thinking; with varied competencies such as autonomy, responsibility, organization and capable of adapting to the multiple changes and current labor competencies subject to the transformations produced by the pandemic since 2020.

Likewise, the Peruvian Ministry of Education proposes in the curricular structure the need to consider the practice of project-based learning based on the theories of so-called meaningful learning and the contributions of neuroscience applied to adult education; the alliances that arise strategically with the labor sector; as well as the continuous updating of the graduates of non-school programs (Zuloaga, 2021).

In such a way that the curricular background regarding the equity and quality of non-school education in Peru in accordance with the political and legal order of the State itself, assuming the national and international references, where many researchers of the educational sciences state a contextualized curriculum, updated and revised continuously, through the use of the criteria of the different participants of the community, industry, business, entrepreneurship, society, graduates and citizens in general (Zuloaga, 2021).

For Sassera and Hergera (2021), when it comes to curriculum planning for non-school programs, the instructor or facilitator is required to reflect on the constructivist paradigm, which should be reflected in the way program contents are grouped from and with values to the elaboration of pedagogical and didactic models that allow building experiences favorable to the so-called endogenous development, that are based on problem solving and that try to elaborate short, medium and long term projects, in an innovative way that meet the perspectives and demands of the labor, industrial and technological sector.

Education, in general, should provide competencies for work in this sense; technical education has a major challenge according to Solórzano and De Armas (2019) the mission of technical education is to train for work. In fulfilling that mission, it can make three important contributions.

Starting from the fact that training in non-school programs facilitates the socialization processes of adults, it contributes to the economic and mobility of adults under this training modality. Another contribution to the labor system is directly associated with the preparation of human resources to respond to the needs of society, and finally, everything points to the improvement of the quality of life of families and communities.

According to Solórzano and De Armas (2019) it should be taken into account that training in non-school programs refers to the set of educational activities and processes offered outside the traditional school system, which aim to provide students with specific skills and knowledge for their personal and professional development. Non-school-based programs may include vocational training, job training, skills and abilities courses and workshops, adult education, online education, among others. These programs may be offered by educational institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, governments and other entities.

Training in non-school-based programs can vary widely in terms of duration, level of difficulty, delivery modality and learning objectives. However, in general, they are characterized by being more flexible and adaptable to the needs and schedules of students, and are more focused on the acquisition of skills and practices.

Some advantages of training in non-school-based programs are accessibility, flexibility, adaptability to the student's needs, the opportunity to learn practical skills and the development of specific knowledge for the labor market. In summary, training in non-school-based programs is an educational alternative that allows students to acquire specific skills and knowledge for their personal and professional development in an accessible and flexible manner (Solórzano and De Armas, 2019).

In other words, the mission of non-school programs is to train an adult who can create, consolidate habits and values for adequate social relations, who can produce attitudes for effective work and adapt to the demands of a very changing and productive Peruvian society. A very innovative training is required from the thinking, to increase their participation, confidence, responsibility, commitment to the development of the country (Solórzano and De Armas, 2019).

Through these changes is that through a well thought out and structured curriculum could be given in non-school training programs in Peru, with the participation and consideration to the instructor or facilitator, given his mediating work as a manager of the teaching-learning process. The instructor or facilitator must be committed to try to produce changes in behaviors and procedures that lead to the implementation of an adequate curricular planning, based on a teaching-learning approach by competencies.

In this context, López (2021) states that the paradigmatic change of education based on the teaching-learning process to create and give meaning to objects, prepares adults capable of facing challenges and solving the problems that arise in everyday life.

The facilitator or instructor of learning in non-formal programs can be defined as a professional in charge of guiding and supporting the learning process of students in non-formal educational environments, such as vocational training programs, job training, adult education and other non-formal programs. The role of the facilitator or instructor is to design and plan educational processes, select appropriate resources and teaching materials, and create a learning environment that is stimulating, safe and respectful of the cultural and social diversity of students (López, 2021).

The facilitator or instructor in non-school programs has a more active and participatory role in the educational process, since his work is not limited to transmitting knowledge, but also involves encouraging critical reflection, participation and collaboration among students.

The non-school programs assumed by the Peruvian government from its educational project, the instructor or facilitator must always think of integrating education with productive work, with the purpose of achieving harmony between the trained individual and the society where he/she will be integrated.

Based on these ideas, it is necessary to think of a curriculum planning that is experiential and flexible, that dismantles the rigid and traditional planning models, and that is closely related to the challenges of society. The need arises to implement a curricular model, which offers planning tools that promote knowledge, science and technology based on the needs of the context and is in harmony with the needs of the current Peruvian and global society, given that we live in a totally globalized world (Sánchez and Calle, 2019).

Therefore, the need arises to plan from the curricular in a logical and interdisciplinary manner between the content of study, the programmatic contents of non-school programs, the profile of the graduate and taking care of the concept of meaningful learning, with updated instructors or facilitators who develop planning that contemplates the diagnosis, purpose, selection of methodological strategies, tools and evaluation of the planning. Since this will allow the construction of a curricular planning under the teaching-learning process by competencies, which is contextualized, theorized, developed, problematized and demonstrated from the competencies of the graduate (Muentes and Lascano, 2019).

In the construction of a curricular model based on the constructivist theory, framed in the contributions of multiple intelligences, neuroscience and pedagogy by project. It is necessary to provide creative and innovative strategies to facilitators or trainers of non-school programs for adults, through a curricular planning model in the training context under the teaching-learning by competencies approach, with the aim of increasing the teaching-learning process (Muentes and Lascano, 2019).

The transformation process of non-school training programs in Peru currently has an experimental character in the spaces where it is developed under the concept of the principle of education for work, with the aim of presenting this curricular model in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be.

Consequently, the new curricular structure is based, in addition to these guiding principles, on teaching through competencies that relate knowledge, skills and abilities, so that each individual constructs his or her learning according to social, labor and service needs (Muentes and Lascano, 2019).

The model of curriculum planning for these training programs is oriented to the policy of diversified, technical and professional secondary education in Peru, which is framed in the Peruvian Constitution, where the guidelines are presented that concretize actions such as the construction of the curriculum with the participation of all citizens.

Starting from the objective that the ethical evaluation of work and the active, conscious and solidary participation of the citizen in the processes of social transformation are conceived as guiding principles, where education and work will allow achieving the productivity of a country with the integral development of the person.

There is a consensus among businessmen and business researchers that the fundamental competitive advantage of industries in the 21st century should not lie in natural or energy resources, nor in financial resources, and even less in technology: the fundamental competitive advantage of industries should lie only in the level of preparation of human resources (Muentes and Lascano, 2019).

This means that the human resources management of any institution must assume the tasks of providing the human capabilities required by the organization, and developing the skills and abilities of the worker to be the most satisfactory for himself and the community where he works.It is of paramount importance for the organization to pay attention to the training and development of the personnel that make it up.

On the other hand, a conceptual problem arises from the differentiation that should exist in the teaching-learning process in adults compared to that in other stages of life. It is related to the concept of andragogy. For Solórzano and De Armas (2019) express that much has been researched and discussed about the training of workers, about their needs, components and other peculiarities that characterize a process of greater or lesser relevance and effectiveness in the work context.

However, there are few occasions when the problem is approached from a process based on the discipline that deals with education and the teaching-learning process of adults, so andragogy, the science of education, has its own history and development.

It is well known that the most developed andragogy is considered as the art and science of helping adults to learn. In this way it presents the following assumptions the concept of the learner, the role of the learner's experience, the readiness to learn and the orientation towards learning.

Adult students who are learning oriented see education as a process to develop and increase their competencies with the aim of reaching their maximum potential in life, therefore they enter an educational activity oriented to learning with the aim of being able to perform a task, solve a problem or live in a more satisfactory way (Solórzanoi and De Armas, 2019).

The purpose of this non-experimental descriptive documentary research was to present a curriculum planning model based on teaching-learning by competencies for adult students in out-of-school programs in Peru, based on a prior identification of current needs.

For this purpose, the dimensions and indicators of curriculum planning and the competency-based teaching approach of contextualization, theorization, development, problematization and demonstration were taken into account.

We must remember, however, that personality traits cut across all kinds of past experiences, and therefore the meaning given to them will be different in each case.

In the adult teaching-learning process it is very important to determine the types of learning, from which the following aspects are derived to be questioned:

  • Classifying learning by discipline determines the educational impact on adults and ensures that everyone feels motivated during the process.

  • Not all people learn in the same way, even if the organization of the learning process is group-based.

In this process of adult education, the transfer of learning takes place, which is considered a quality that should be possessed by the adults themselves, who should acquire a maximum of it, depending on the effectiveness of this process.

When interacting with a group of adults who learn certain contents, different types of learning become evident, from which the following aspects are derived to be questioned

  • It is necessary to work on the classification of apprenticeships according to each specialty. Each of them has certain characteristics.

  • For example, cognitive elements could be the generalizations that the student must make, analysis, comparison of elements, motor elements, emotional elements could be to provoke certain emotions of pleasure or displeasure before phenomena of reality that favor the internalization of the contents..

The types of learning processes that are evident in contexts where adults are present are as follows:

  • Logic and memory, where cognitive elements predominate.

  • Discovery, because cognitive and motor elements predominate.

  • Associative, because it has cognitive and motor elements.

  • Imitative has cognitive, affective and motor elements.

  • Classical conditioning has affective elements.

  • Operant conditioning has cognitive, affective and motor elements.

  • Skill learning, motor elements are present.

  • Transfer because cognitive, affective, and motor elements predominate.

We can define operant behaviors in the above-mentioned types of learning as follows:

  • Cognitive behaviors since they cover most of the theoretical contents of a training program. These include memorization, comprehensive learning in which the student adapts the knowledge to the cognitive material already integrated and problem simulation in which the subject adapts the knowledge acquired to the solution of imaginary problems, simulated by the group and which can acquire varying degrees of complexity.

  • Motor behaviors in this area are mainly involved in the learning of skills. Perceptual and thinking processes are also involved in the learning of this type of behavior.

  • Affective behaviors, starting from the fact that emotional behaviors favor or hinder learning, so a very low or high emotional level prevents to concentrate on learning theories, laws, principles and possibly disturbing emotional states such as anger, insecurity, phobia, anxiety, which reduces the results of the teaching-learning process of theoretical and practical content, although it is always necessary to focus them in relation to what is being addressed.

Even applying a global strategy of multiple learning it would be necessary to contemplate the adaptation to the real situation of the class, it demands an adequate teaching process in consonance not only with the existing learning but also with the curriculum and the peculiarities of the adults attended. The teaching-learning process cannot be separated in the contents from the peculiarities of each adult in interrelation with the group and the characteristics of the training process.

Finally, a certain knowledge of learning and its relationship with the teaching context can solve part of the problems that arise in the education developed in non-school programs aimed at adults.


In relation to what has been observed in the Peruvian context, regarding non-school programs for adults, the curricular planning presents weaknesses that need to be corrected, as evidenced by the different dimensions and indicators assessed through the multiple investigations developed, determining among other factors that it does not promote quality in learning by not raising the motivation of the individual, not contributing to the exploration and rescue of previous knowledge, nor facilitating the transfer of learning to situations present in the workplace.

Referencias bibliográficas

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del Rocío Ramírez-González, M. y Quesada-Lacayo, J. (2019). Repensando los indicadores educativos: la gestión educativa, curricular y de vinculación con la comunidad.Revista Innovaciones educativas,21(30), 37-47. [ Links ]

Fernández, D. G., Izarra, K. e Izarra, M. (2021). Principios Andragógicos y Transferencia de Conocimiento en el Aprendizaje del Adulto.Conocimiento, Investigación y Educación CIE, 2(12), 1-17. [ Links ]

Flores, J. S. y Trujillo, P. S. (2023). La evaluación formativa: un proceso reflexivo y sistemático de la práctica docente. Conrado,19(90), 196-202. [ Links ]

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López, L. (2021). Breve historia de la educación de adultos en Ecuador: anotaciones para una genealogía.593 Digital Publisher CEIT, 6(4), 88-101. [ Links ]

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Sánchez Reyes, C. E. y Calle García, X. (2019). Estrategias innovadoras en la planificación curricular, un reto de la educación contemporánea.Revista de Ciencias Humanísticas y Sociales (ReHuSo), 4(3), 43-54. [ Links ]

Sassera, J. S. y Herger, N. (2021). Políticas de inclusión educativa de adolescentes, jóvenes y adultos en la provincia de Buenos Aires: tensiones en torno a la segmentación socio educativa y el acceso al conocimiento.Revista de la Escuela de Ciencias de la Educación, 2(16). [ Links ]

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Received: August 20, 2022; Accepted: December 04, 2022

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