Every person has a reason for what motivates him/her to learn. These four reasons are called contexts that motivate learning. They are based on the research of Malcolm Knowles (1984) and they are called Practical Context, Personal Context, Experiential Context, and Idealistic Context. Practical Context is when a person wants to learn in order to obtain a new skill set or ability. Without this tangible end result, a person will not have the motivation to learn. Personal Context refers to a person who is motivated to learn because they want to reach a personal goal.
That goal may be work related (like a promotion), or a personal goal (learning to play the piano), but it will be a goal that only he/she can say they accomplished. When a person is apt to Experimental Context learning, he/she relies on their “inner self” to learn. It is when a person can take new ideas and compare them with their past, that this person will thrive in a learning environment. They are motivated by being able to take examples from the past to shape the present and the future. On the other hand, an Idealistic Context learner is motivated by the opportunity to gain knowledge.
Not motivated to learn by the past nor the future, they are instead driven to learn by the pursuit of knowledge itself. What motivates a person to learn is unique to that person. However, thanks to the four learning contexts, we can guide our learning to ensure we get the most of our education. My motivation to learn is to reach my future goals and it falls under the Personal Context category. The reason why I have decided to obtain my BA in Human Resource Management is simply to start a new career once I retire from the US Postal Service. I have had the opportunity to lead many talented men and women.
However, my experience does not translate well into a resume. Though I now I have extensive management experience, I am missing the final peace, the education. By reaching my goal of obtaining my degree, I will be able to demonstrate that I have the education and experience needed in today’s job market. Every business needs organized management. A great manager sets goals, motivates people, and exceeds expectations.
I have the people skills to lead men and women from the “deck plate level”, that is to say lead by example. But I understand that I must study the subject of management. I must become intimate with the theories and history behind it. Doing so will make me a better manager and person. And that is why I am a Personal Context Learner. I have a clear goal and path that I shall take to obtain my degree and earn a wonderful career after the government. References: Alexander, M. , Clugston, W, & Tice, E. (2009). Learning online and achieving lifelong goals. San Diego, Bridgepoint, Inc.