How Adults Learn


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How Adults Learn MB/Dec.2005

The Classical Approach to Teaching & Learning: 

The Classical Approach to Teaching andamp; Learning IT IS: Tutor Centred - teaching by telling Tutor Controlled - teacher has all the power LEARNERS are: Passive – ‘jug and mug’ Receive information – ‘tabla rasa’ Contribute little – do as instructed How Adults Learn MB/Dec.2005


Andragogy: 'The art and science of helping adults learn' Malcolm Knowles MB/Dec.2005 Pedagogy: 'The science of teaching' [children] OED How Adults Learn


Andragogy: Rests on 5 ideas: Self-concept Experience Readiness to learn Orientation to learning Motivation to learn MB/Dec.2005 How Adults Learn


A comparison of pedagogy and andragogy [Jarvis, 1985] Pedagogy Andragogy Self-concept: Dependent. Teacher tends to direct what, when, how a subject is learned and tests that it has been learned Moves towards independence andamp; self direction. Teacher should encourage and nurture this movement MB/Dec.2005 How Adults Learn


Limited – regarded as of little worth. Hence teaching methods have been didactic – ‘chalk andamp; talk’ etc. A rich resource for learning. Hence teaching methods should include discussion, role play, problem-solving etc Pedagogy Andragogy The learner’s experience: MB/Dec.2005 How Adults Learn


The young learn what society expects them to - the curriculum is standardized People want to learn what they need to know - learning programmes should be organised around life application Pedagogy Andragogy Readiness to learn: MB/Dec.2005 How Adults Learn


Pedagogy Andragogy Orientation to learning: MB/Dec.2005 Acquisition of subject knowledge andamp; learning skills - curriculum organized by subjects andamp; key skills Learning should be based around experience since adults are more performance centred in their learning How Adults Learn


Pedagogy Andragogy Motivation to learn: MB/Dec.2005 Strong extrinsic motivation – value of learning comes later Intrinsic motivation more important – focus is on what is ‘worth’ learning How Adults Learn

Why Do Adults Learn?: 

Why Do Adults Learn? JOB/CAREER RELATED Improve job prospects Improve effectiveness in the workplace - master a new skill - develop an existing skill Planned career development Satisfy employers How Adults Learn MB/Dec.2005

Why Do Adults Learn?: 

Why Do Adults Learn? INFORMAL Personal interest Personal need/desire Meet people Master a new skill Develop an existing skill Remain an ‘active’ learner How Adults Learn MB/Dec.2005


Adults and some ‘principles of learning’: 1. The learner must be motivated to learn - motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic 2. Giving responsibility for learning motivates students 3. Learning should take account of individual differences in learners capacities and styles 4. Learning should be self-paced 5. Precise learning goals and objectives should be specified in advance MB/Dec.2005 How Adults Learn


Adults and some ‘principles of learning’, cont.d… 6. The subject matter to be learned should be carefully analysed and broken down into a logical sequence 7. Everything must be carefully explained so that the learner never gets confused 8. What is to be learned should be reinforced 9. Full rather than partial mastery of each step makes learning more meaningful MB/Dec.2005 How Adults Learn


References Reece, I. andamp; Walker, S. (1997) (3rd Edition) A Practical Guide to Teaching, Training and Learning. Sunderland, Business Education Publishers. Rogers, A. (1986)Teaching Adults. Buckingham, Open University Press. Rogers, J. (2001) (4th Edition) Adults Learning. Buckingham, Open University Press. Woolhouse, M., Jones, T. andamp; Rees, M. (2001)Teaching the Post-16 Learner. Tavistock, Northcote House Publishers Ltd. MB/Dec.2005 How Adults Learn

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