Principles of Adult Learning

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Adult Learning : Adult learning is the practice of teaching and educating adults. This often happens in the workplace through extensions and continuing education in secondary schools, universities etc. This practice is often referred as “Training & Development” It is also referred as “Andragogy”.

Various Modes Of Learning :

 • Reading
 • Hearing words
 • Looking at pictures
 • Looking at an Exhibit
 • Watching a movie
 • Seeing it done on a location
 • Watching a demonstration
 • Participating in discussion
 • Giving a talk
 • Doing a Dramatic Presentation
 • Simulating the real experience
 • Doing the real things

Characteristics of a adult learner :

1) Educating adults differs from educating children’s in several ways. One of the most important difference is that adults have accumulated knowledge and experience that can add or under the learning experience. Another difference is that the most adult education is voluntary therefore the participants are highly motivated.

2) Adults frequently apply their knowledge in practical fashion to learn effectively. They must have a reasonable expectation that the knowledge gained will help hem for future goals.
 Example: The proliferation of computer training course which was introduced in 90’s in which adults who were working in companies had to enroll the themselves as to be updated thus the course would teach the basic computer operation.

3) Adults have accumulated life experiences. They tend to favor practical learning activities that enable them to draw on their prior skills and knowledge. They are realistic and have insights about what is likely to work and what is not.

4) Adults have established opinions, values and beliefs which have been built up over time and assumed at following experiences of families, relationships, work community etc thus their views cannot be dismissed but respected.

5) Adults are intrinsically motivated learners They are motivated by the relevance of the material to be addressed and learn better when it is related to their own needs and interests. For learner to be fully engaged in learning their attention must be carefully focused on material presented.

6) Individual differences: Adults learn at various rates and in different ways according to their intellectual capacities, educational level, personality, cognitive learning, learning styles.

7) Adults learn but in a democratic, participatory and collaborative environment. They need to actively involved in what to learn and how to learn.

8) Adults r mature and should be treated as such.

9) Adults are goal oriented and relevance oriented. They need to know why they learning something Adults have need that are concrete and immediate . They like theory applied to practical problems.

10) Adults are task oriented rather than task oriented.

11) Autonomous and self directed: Adults are self reliant learners and prefer to work at their own pace. Individual learn best when they identify their own needs.


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