Essay Example on Teaching Strategies for Adult Learners

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Teaching Strategies for Adult Learners University Teaching Strategies for Adult Learners In order to succeed at providing a high quality adult learning experience teachers must own the responsibility to learn what practices are effective and what shifts need to be made in order for students to achieve a higher level of learning There is now proof that the old traditional standard that knowledge is transferred from teacher to student and that the power of learning is in the hands of the faculty is unsuccessful and obsolete at least when it comes to meaningful adult learning Adult learners are significantly different from young learners and therefore should be taught using different approaches Focusing on Significant Learning Experiences Adult learners tend to take courses because they seek relevant information that will enhance their lives or careers Teachers should understand that adult learners are motivated to learn what they feel would be important for their success Adult learners make the choice to pursue further education Teachers have the responsibility to design courses that create significant learning experiences that enhance and change their students in the long term To do this the teacher must design experiences that allows students to make real life connections engage in their own learning and changes their lives or ways of thinking somehow Teachers should facilitate learning experiences that are engaging and involve a high level of energy from the student They should be meaningful in that it helps the student become a better citizen a better worker or a better student for lifelong learning 



Learning outcomes of significant learning experiences include building foundational knowledge learning how to learn and be a student developing values interests and emotions application of skills and critical thinking and integrating new knowledge with old knowledge Blumberg 2013 Integrating New Knowledge with Old Knowledge Adult learners come with a whole lifetime of experience to bring to the table Adult learners should be valued for the knowledge that they can share with others Teachers should facilitate discussions and design assessments that integrate old experiences with new information so that new learning can be embedded According to Lillian Hill In order to make meaning of new information the brain will connect new experiences to previous ones activating consciousness Hill 2001 By valuing previous experience students will be able to problem solve and think in a more integrated way rather than seeing academic life and personal life and work life as separate components This will make the application of knowledge and skills from class more relevant to them as they are out in the career field This provides the opportunity for cooperative learning in the classroom when sharing personal experiences is respected Personal relationships among faculty and cohorts can build and a sense of empowerment will develop as learners take ownership of their classroom capabilities Self Directed Learning Young learners depend on their teachers to provide them with knowledge and support They learn through external direction and guidance Adult learners are best suited for situations where they are learning material that has personal meaning for their lives According to Phyllis Blumberg teachers should provide their adult students with opportunities to construct their own learning about the content Blumberg 2013 Adult learners seek engaging learning experiences Since learning is a choice for adults adults should be given some power to choose how they learn and what they learn Adults deal with many outside factors and responsibilities that direct what they do and what they prioritize 



By transferring power from the teacher to the adult student adults are able to make self directed decisions about their role in their own education Teachers should provide variety and flexibility to meet the individual needs of their students An example of how this can be done is through the assessment system Rather than testing adults on their knowledge through traditional tests teachers can create assessments that are performance based This gives the adult learner the opportunity to show what they know in a more personalized and creative way When adult learners are given the chance to complete tasks using their own strengths and learn at their own speed they are able to stay positive feel validated and appreciated and have their needs met by their teacher The Adult Learning Theory Malcolm Knowles established that there are four major principles of Andragogy 1 Adult learners should be involved with their instruction 2 Previous experiences should be integrated with the learning activities 3 Content should be relevant and make an impact in the lives of the learner 4 Adults learn best when solving problems The theory of Andragogy begins with the idea that adults are different from children because adults seek knowledge and have internal motivation and willingness to learn This means that adults value learning experiences that are self directed and learning centered rather than teacher centered The roles outcomes and instructional designs are much more different than those that a teacher with young learners would create Adult learners are only successful when their teachers keep these principles in mind when finding strategies that reach their students References Blumberg P 2013 Assessing and improving your teaching strategies and rubrics for faculty growth and student learning Retrieved from https ebookcentral proquest com lopes idm oclc org Fink L D 2013 Creating significant learning experiences an integrated approach to designing college courses Retrieved from https ebookcentral proquest com lopes idm oclc org Kearsley G 2003 Andragogy M Knowles Retrieved January 16 2018 from http tip psychology org knowles html Smith M 2002 Malcolm Knowles informal adult education self direction and andragogy Retrieved January 18 2018 from http www infed org thinkers et knowl htm


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