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Adult Education Essay

Adults don’t learn in the same way as children do because their personality structure is almost fully developed at that stage in their lives, along with a series of habits and practices that have been acquired during their lifetime. Therefore, the learning process must take into account how an adult perceives not only what is being taught, but also themselves; this includes, but is not limited to: considering their previous learning experiences, considering their temporal perspective – especially when it comes to short term application of what is being taught, and matching education to their problems, needs, interests and expectations.

The principles of adult education are: 1)Adults will only learn when they want to. Simply put, no adult will learn under pressure. They must be motivated to want to acquire new knowledge or skills that will help them in their work or day-to-day life. Thus, their desire to learn can decrease or increase depending on the approach and methodology that is being used. 2)Adults only really want to learn that which will help them in the short term. Adults will only learn when they feel they need to. Basically, any attained knowledge will only “make sense” if the adult can see the applicability of what is being learned 3)Adults learn by doing.

No adult enjoys being fed vast amounts of theory with little or no practice. As we grow older, we much prefer a “hands-on” approach to things. The learning will be much more effective if we can take an active role in the learning process. Thus it’s important to encourage objective discussion both in analyzing the problem and coming up with a solution. 4)Adults will only learn by solving problems they can associate with their reality. They focus on “real world” problems and practical assimilation of what is being taught. 5)Experience will interfere in adult education.

Thus, any new information being presented must be integrated with their own experience. 6)Adults learn better in an informal environment. They require a more relaxed atmosphere; one that will stimulate them to participate, 7)Adults need feedback. it’s important that learning process provide adults with constructive feedback, through self-evaluation questionnaires and activities. 8)Adults require a variety of teaching methods. The use of audiovisual materials is highly recommended with use of interactive activities such as role-playing, mock classes and presentations from the students.


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