Knowing a little about how adults learn can also make you a more effective teacher. Adults learn in the same way children do but have special needs and requirements as students.
Malcolm Knowles, a pioneer in adult learning, based his work on the concept of andragogy (the art and science of how adults learn). He noted that adults:
- Need to know why they are learning something
- Learn through doing
- Are problem solvers
- Learn best when the subject is of immediate use
- Prefer social interaction
- Want to use their life experiences in the classroom
- Want to integrate new ideas with existing knowledge
To read more about principles of adult learning and to ﬁnd speciﬁc adult-learning techniques and strategies, go to:
- University of Hawai’i/Honolulu Faculty Development Teaching Tips Index
- Teachers Mentors: Free Resources for Educators and Business Coaches
- Principles of Adult Learning
See also: Good Teaching Matters: Five Teaching Practices to Improve the Quality of a Training Course. This short article discusses a “learner-centered” culture in education and training and describes how instruction can be designed to capitalize on what we know about learning and adults.