Fundamental Principles of Adult Education University of Phoenix AET 505 August 15, 2011 Abstract Part of being a good, quality educator is to learn the learning styles of the students and adapt to those forms of learning. Adult learning is growing, more and more are going to college at later stages in life. Out of the 35 people, there will be many different learning styles. Malcom Knowles is known for defining characteristics of adult learning. Malcom Knowles Malcom Knowles studied in the field of adult learning. His main goal was to develop a theory about andragogy, which is a theory specifically for adult learning.
Knowles notes that adults are self-directed and are expected to take responsibility for decisions. Adult learning methods must accommodate this important aspect. Knowles notes six characteristics for adult learning: ·Adults are independent ·Have life experiences like family and work ·Adults have goals they want to achieve ·Adults want things to be relevant ·Adults are practical and find ways to apply information to their work or life ·They want to be shown respect Due to the characteristics of learning there have been developments of different teaching styles and theories.
Theories about adult education have been categorized into four main models. These models would be biological, psychological, sociocultural, and cognitive. Biological Growing old is a part of life, and unfortunately with age comes changes. These changes affect how we learn and take in new information. Our hearing decreases, our eyesight becomes poorer, and the brain becomes slower at absorbing and retaining new information. To accommodate to the more mature adults in the classroom, I would make sure the older adults were closer to me to hear me speak.
I would make sure any handouts, homework, or textbooks have a decent sized font that they could read. Perhaps having frequent quizzes will help find out how well the older members of the classroom are retaining the information. Psychological Psychology is behaviors and mental processes. To learn is obviously a mental process, but how a person learns needs to be determined. Some people have a more hands on approach to learning, while others are visual learners. An example would be someone who had dyslexia and sees things backwards; they need different instructions to take in the information.
Also, people act differently. An example would be myself, I have ADHD. I do not like to sit for long periods of time because I just can’t keep my concentration. Keeping the attention of such an age span could pose problems. Keeping lectures short, mixing things up, taking a break could all be ways to make sure everyone’s able to pay attention and get the most out of the teachings. Sociocultural The world that we live in shapes the people we are, how we do things, and how we live. Cultures dictate a lot of learning, as does family status. People that have families live busy lives.
A traditional family today now has two working parents, along with kids. If they are taking classes in addition to their hectic schedule they don’t have time to waste, are focused and determined. Whereas, a twenty year old with no wife and no children is more likely the one to put less effort into the homework, more likely to miss class, and more likely to do the minimal amount of work to get by. Teaching methods must encourage all ages, cultures, and races. Cognitive Cognitive learning is how the brain processes information. All ages learn by experiencing, touching, and listening.
In fact many species of animals learn by the same way. In the example of someone with dyslexia, their brain processes information backwards, so they have to retrain their brain and find a way they can process the information appropriately. With myself having ADHD, I don’t have the patience to sit through class lectures, which is why I do online learning. I can read a while, and then stop. I can work on my assignment for ten minutes, and then go do something else. As an instructor is important to find out how everyone processes their information nd work with them to retain it, otherwise the learning and teachings are pointless. Conclusion Life dictates who we are as individuals. Education is a choice, but it’s important as an educator to maximize the learning experience for every person that chooses to sit in a classroom or attend online. Adapt to the fact no two people will be alike on how they learn and absorb the information taught in class. Myself, as a teach and a student want to achieve the best possible results and put forth all the effort I can to make sure my students are taught appropriately, and that I’m being taught appropriately.
References Imel, Susan (2001) Adult Development No. 22 Knowles, M. (1975). Self-Directed Learning. Chicago: Follet. Knowles, M. (1984). The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species (3rd Ed. ). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing. Knowles, M. (1984). Andragogy in Action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Andragogy and Malcolm S. Knowles (1913-1997) Unknown Author, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on August 12, 2011 http://www. thinkquest. org/pls/html/think. library