Raymer teaches community-engaged Education/Development Sociology courses in Adult, Lifelong & Leadership Learning; directs Cornell’s intergenerational adult education program, CLASP; advances learning cities, capacity-building, organizational change, faculty development and instructional design.
Learning Cities--Communities as ecosystems of opportunities for individual and social learning that is lifelong, lifewide and lifedeep.
Outreach and Extension Focus
My outreach work pertains to advancing conditions and environs conducive to lifelong learning with individuals, teams, organizations and communities.
In my role as the director of the Community Learning and Service Partnership program, I promote intergenerational growth and development across difference by pairing individual Cornell students studying Adult Learning with individual Cornell service employees wanting to pursue an educational interest. These arrangements, or “Learning Partnerships,” emphasize mutual learning. The student serves as an educational mentor to the employee, and both employee and student learn from each other. In this way Cornell students apt to become future decision makers and people of influence gain familiarity with adult community members whose experiences and life circumstances differ from their own. At the same time, service employees gain support and instruction while developing as self-directed learners achieving their goals.
Other outreach efforts of mine include designing and offering workshops and professional development for educators, local governments, nonprofits and community organizations, as well as creating and facilitating customized process designs for organizational change and soft skill development.
My approach to education is that of a facilitative teacher. My aim is to design and facilitate learning experiences wherein students can grow as self-directed learners, collaborative inquirers and democratic leaders. I realize that people learn best when challenged a bit beyond their comfort zones and in real world settings. As I teach courses in Adult, Community and Leadership Learning, I purposefully and transparently unpack the why and how of the instructional designs I employ in class. I want to make visible the largely unseen planning and decision points of creating curriculum and constructing learning activities. My goal is to equip students to be leaders of learning cultures and designs, in whatever area of human endeavor they elect. If students get to a point where they can thoughtfully critique the design decisions and facilitation strategies I use for a given learning aim, I am reassured that they are indeed developing as educators.
All of the courses I teach are community-engaged courses. I believe students can uncover their essential educator-selves only when put in positions to mentor learners with instruction and support. While exposure to techniques, tools, big ideas and challenging assignments can provide rich material to draw from, one can only really learn to facilitate learning by actually teaching.
Awards and Honors
- Fellow (2018) Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, RSA
- Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogs Faculty Fellow (2008) University of Alaska
- Global Learning Education Faculty Fellow (2018) Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
- Transatlantic Educators Dialog, TED Fellow (2017) European Union Center of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Raymer, A. L. (2018). Raymer, A. (2018). Trying for a Learning City Before My Country Leaves UNESCO. Proceedings of the Commission on International Adult Education, of the 67th Annual Conference of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education. Avoseh, M.B. M. (ed.), American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, Atlanta, GA, USA 195-206 p.