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Published by fariba_ghanbari5577

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: fariba_ghanbari5577 on May 29, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:05 PMFrom:"Laila Sadat Moshtaghian" <lailasadat@yahoo.com<Add sender to ContactsTo:english-4-all@yahoogroups.com
By Stephen LiebSenior Technical Writer and Planner, Arizona Department of Health Servicesand part-time Instructor, South Mountain Community Collegefrom VISION, Fall 1991
Adults As Learners
Part of being an effective instructor involvesunderstanding how adults learn best. Compared tochildren and teens, adults have special needs andrequirements as learners. Despite the apparent truth,adult learning is a relatively new area of study. Thefield of adult learning was pioneered by MalcomKnowles. He identified the following characteristicsof adult learners:
Adults are
They need to be free to direct themselves.Their teachers must actively involve adult participants in the learning process and serveas facilitators for them. Specifically, theymust get participants' perspectives aboutwhat topics to cover and let them work on projects that reflect their interests. They
should allow the participants to assumeresponsibility for presentations and groupleadership. They have to be sure to act asfacilitators, guiding participants to their ownknowledge rather than supplying them withfacts. Finally, they must show participantshow the class will help them reach their goals(e.g., via a personal goals sheet.(
Adults have accumulated a foundation of 
that may includework-related activities, familyresponsibilities, and previous education.They need to connect learning to thisknowledge/experienc e base. To help them doso, they should draw out participants'experience and knowledge which is relevantto the topic. They must relate theories andconcepts to the participants and recognize thevalue of experience in learning.
Adults are
. Upon enrolling in acourse, they usually know what goal theywant to attain. They, therefore, appreciate aneducational program that is organized andhas clearly defined elements. Instructors mustshow participants how this class will helpthem attain their goals. This classification of goals and course objectives must be doneearly in the course.
Adults are
. They must seea reason for learning something. Learning has
to be applicable to their work or other responsibilities to be of value to them.Therefore, instructors must identifyobjectives for adult participants before thecourse begins. This means, also, that theoriesand concepts must be related to a settingfamiliar to participants. This need can befulfilled by letting participants choose projects that reflect their own interests.
Adults are
, focusing on the aspectsof a lesson most useful to them in their work.They may not be interested in knowledge for its own sake. Instructors must tell participantsexplicitly how the lesson will be useful tothem on the job.
As do all learners, adults need to be shown
. Instructors must acknowledge thewealth of experiences that adult participants bring to the classroom. These adults should be treated as equals in experience andknowledge and allowed to voice their opinions freely in class.
Motivating the Adult Learner
Another aspect of adult learning is motivation. Atleast six factors serve as sources of motivation for adult learning:
Social relationships:
to make new friends, tomeet a need for associations and friendships.

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