Adult teaching methods
Teaching adults often looks very different from teaching children. Adult educators can make assumptions of their adult students that they would not make of children because adults have had vastly different life experiences and come with their own unique sets of background knowledge. Andragogy, or the practice of teaching adults, studies the best methods and approaches for effective adult education. Those teaching adults should understand and practice the five principles of andragogy espoused by Malcolm Knowles, a pioneer in the study of adult learning. By incorporating these five principles of andragogy into instruction, adult educators and learners alike will experience greater success in the classroom. One of the most important differences between teaching children and teaching adults is the self-concept of adult learners.
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Adult enrollment in higher education grew by more than 50 percent between and , according to U. By understanding adult students , you can become a better educator or trainer. Here are six key teaching strategies for making lessons more applicable for adult learners. They have to understand how the skills they learn will improve their daily lives. If they believe a lesson will have a measurable impact, they will be far more likely to be engaged and internalize the lesson. How can this be achieved? Remind adult students that a math lesson can help them better understand what they do every day or that the course will give them the experience they need to advance in their careers.
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Studies in adult learning theory show that adults prefer courses that focus heavily on application of concepts to relevant issues. To retain and use new information they need to be able to integrate the information with what they already know. Tasks must be slow to moderate pace and not complex or unusual to avoid interference with adult learning. Adults prefer a personalized learning environment with focused effort on concept application where they can solve problems and take personal responsibility. Design programs for all generational groups because there will be different viewpoints and value sets in a learning environment.
Malcolm Knowles , a pioneer in adult education, popularized the concept of five teaching strategies for adults, which states that students learn best when:. Adults students are special because they step foot into a classroom with the desire to learn. They are there to learn something new or become certified in a particular field.