“The theory of adult learning that addresses the best ways to teach adult learners is called andragogy. The increasing enrolment of adult learners, students older than the traditional college age of 18 to 25 is an ongoing trend in higher education.”
Adults are motivated to learn by a wide variety of factors. These are the most common: personal aspirations, externally imposed expectations, internal desire or interest, escape from a situation (boredom or fear), growth and advancement, and service to others.
Adults want practical, goal-oriented, and problem-centered learning that can immediately help them to deal with life’s challenges. They have preferences for the way in which they learn. Some prefer learning by doing (kinaesthetic), others prefer learning by observing (visual), while still others prefer learning by listening (auditory). Adult learners are not under any compulsion. Their participation in learning situations is of their own decision after perceiving the need for education.
When teaching adult learners, there is a shift in the relationship between faculty member and students, and a shift in the way that learners will perceive the effectiveness of different teaching methods. Adult instructors must honour the life experiences students bring to the classroom by making sure they tap into that wealth of wisdom whenever it is appropriate.
A relaxed learning environment should be created for adult learners. There should be no imposition of anything by the instructor who should only listen carefully for teaching moments and take advantage of them. Even time of class meeting need not be forced on them for the convenience of the instructor.
Characteristics of Adult Learning
- Selective Learning (not very inclined to learn something they are not interested in or in which they cannot see the meaning and importance).
- Variation Learning Style (variety of teaching materials and methods to consider differences in learning styles, time, types and place of learning).
- Problem Centered Approach (Take problem centered approach to participate in learning programmes).
- Practical and Result Oriented (Prefer to take Practical- Knowledge that will improve skill, facilitate work and boost confidence).
- Self-Direction (Feel the need of take Responsibility and Decision).
- Multi-Level Responsibility (Family, Friends, Teaching, Work and personally Quality of Time).
- Use personal experience as a resource (past experiences to anything new and validate new concepts based on prior learning).
Goals of Adult Learning
Teaching is Dialogue
Teaching is Clarity
Teaching is Design
Teaching is Fairness
Learning is Engagement
Teaching is Delivery
A Supportive and Engaging Learning and Teaching Environment
Growth is Discovery
Knowledge is Application
Characteristics of Adolescence and Adult Learner’s
- Academic Characteristics Academic Characteristics are more learning related such of learning goals of individuals or group of an individual or group , previous knowledge, types and levels of educations etc. There is significant evidence that academic success increases when students (Adolescent’s / Adult) persevere, which ultimately increases their performance, enabling them to meet even more difficult learning challenges. This is called a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset). A student’s (Adolescent’s/Adult) academic mindset has a significant impact on the success of learners in every academic setting. The academic mindset includes a well-developed Life Vision with a personal history, a selfanalysis, their life’s passion, a vision of a personal future, an educational plan, and an integrated career. Academic learning enables individuals to become skilled at knowledge that is educational, scholastic and theoretical. Academic Learning has neither enabled students (Adolescent’s/Adult) to become aware of social issues, nor favoured the development of a commitment to social justice, social rights, democracy and peace. Its main concern is the development of specific, instrumental and technical skills. However, given the current economic, social, political and cultural reality, the academic system seems to need a change in order to meet a more inclusive, fairer and more communal society.
- Social Characteristics Socialisation, which is “taken to mean the process of training of Adolescents and Adult Learner for social participation in his group”, is achieved through a number of socializing learners of which family and school stand out. Together they exert the most profound influence on the growing child. Social Learning relates to the group or to the individual with respect to the group. Examples of social/emotional characteristics are grouped structure, place of the individual within a group, sociability, self-image (also feelings of self-efficacy and agency), mood, etc. The roles and relationships within these “microsystems” form the basis of daily interactions between the adolescent/ adult and social environment which, over time, shape individual development. From an ecological perspective, adolescent/ adult development takes place within the immediate social contexts of everyday life: the family, the peer group, the school, and, increasingly, the adolescent.
Social Learning Theory given by Albert Bandura, posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modelling. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviourist and cognitive learning attention, memory, and motivation.