The, The Art And Science Of Helping Adults Learn Essay

The, The Art And Science Of Helping Adults Learn Essay

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Andragogy popularised by Malcolm Knowles in the 1980’s is the concept that he described as the “the art and science of helping adults learn” (Knowles, 1980), he helped the theory of learning to focus on the learners experience, whilst failing to analyse the nature of that experience (Jarvis, 2010). Knowles theories differentiated between adult and child learning and explored the idea that andragogy was different to pedagogy in five main ways. The adult learner needs to be more responsible for the learning and that it should be self-directed. They also have a wealth of knowledge and life experience to draw on to inform their learning. A readiness to learn, a thirst for knowledge as they have made the choice to learn in their area. Adult learners tend to be more problem centred learners and less likely to be subject focused, Adults are motivated to learn. (Jarvis, 2010).
Knowles model of learning is a process model and has 8 defined steps for learning. The first being to prepare the learner by providing information and develop realistic expectations (Knowles, Holton & Swanson, 2015). Prior to beginning the teaching session under discussion the women were all given information on what would be covered and how the learning would happen (discussion and use of visual aids). The feedback received from the woman all showed that they understood the purpose of the session and what they hoped to gain from it.
The second step is to create and atmosphere conducive to learning, an informal welcoming atmosphere can create trust and aid with openness and discussion (Knowles, Holton & Swanson, 2015). The author notes at this point that 2 out of the 5 women commented on the unsuitableness of the atmosphere. One woman commented on the continual int...


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...ufficient, the assessor must also be conversant and competent at the assessment process (Jarvis, 2010). To achieve the most from assessment it should be regarded as a tool to inform and facilitate learning and not as an assessment to place the student at a disadvantage (Stuart, 2013).
Conclusion
There are many theories of teaching and assessment to many in fact to be discussed in this work, and dependant on the theory used can cause education to be viewed in many different ways (Croussard and Pryor, 2015). However this work focuses on theories that are relevant to the Midwife both as a student, mentor and adult educator. In the role as a midwife/educator whether it be to students or women in our care, we must consider the information to be taught/learnt against the individual needs of the learner and understand that these two requirements may not always be congruent.

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