Characteristics of Adult Learning Essay

Characteristics of Adult Learning Essay

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The saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, could be a bad assumption about adult learning. Learning new trades or skills should be a live long process for all adults. The idea of learning from Marcia Connor‘s perspective, on How Adults Learn, states “we learn from everything the mind perceives (at any age). Our brains build and strengthen neural pathways no matter where we are, no matter what the subject or the context” (Connor pg. 2). Andragogy, the theory of adult learning, has become a widely studied subject by educational psychologists. The jobs in our workforce today have become more skill based and require more knowledge and experience to complete tasks at an efficient level. It is important for good instructors to be knowledgeable of adult learning principles so they can apply this theory when designing training programs for an adult audience (Noe pg. 148).
Malcolm Shepherd Knowles is well known for his work in the adult education field. He held the position as the Executive Director of the Adult Education Association of the United States of America in the 1950s. Knowles is also the man to write the “first major accounts of informal adult education and the history of adult education in the United States (M. K. Smith pg. 1)”. Knowles’s theory on how adult learn was broken down into five theories. Our book lists them as, ‘adults need to know why they are learning something, adults needs to have a need to be self directed, adults bring more work-related experience into the learning situation, adults enter into a learning experience with a problem-centered approach to learning, and adults are motivated to learn by both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators’ (Noe pg 148).
The first theory states that if the adult...


... middle of paper ...


...emember the knowledge and skills that you just taught. As said earlier, the adults have to see a meaning or significance in the nature of the material retain the information being taught. The learners must also be able to identify and apply the information in their job as well. Stephen Lieb is again correct when he says, “retention by the participants is directly affected by their amounts of practice during the learning. Instructors should emphasize retention and application. After the students demonstrate correct (desired) performance, they should be urged to practice and maintain the desired performance” (Lieb pg. 4).



Works Cited

http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/adults-2.htm, http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/adults-3.htm,
http://agelesslearner.com/intros/adultlearning.html

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