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1.2 ASSUMPTIONS OF ADULT LEARNING – ANDRAGOGY

1. Adults both desire and enact a tendency toward self-directedness as they mature, though they may be dependent in certain situations.

For example: Letting your students in on your “game plan” and giving them opportunities to change the plan if need be are ways to encourage self-directedness. Sharing your agenda, objectives, and general plans with learners help them feel more in control.

2. Adults’ experiences are a rich resource for learning. Adults learn more effectively through experiential techniques of education such as discussion or problem-solving.

For example: Provide time at the beginning of a workshop to ask your learners to tell you why they are there and what they want to accomplish during the workshop.

3. Adults are aware of specific learning needs generated by real life tasks or problems. Adult education programs, therefore, should be organized around ‘life application’ categories and sequenced according to learner’s readiness to learn.

For example: Take the time to explain the why’s and how’s of your information, and do not assume that everyone understands its usefulness.

4. Adults are competency based learners in that they wish to apply newly acquired skills or knowledge to their immediate circumstances. Adults are, therefore, “performance-centered” in their orientation to learning.

For example: Offer your learners positive feedback during their performances. Use humor and ease when giving feedback. Know what to do and say to ensure the dignity of each participant. Treat each person as you would like to be treated.

REFERENCES: Knowles,M.S. (1980), “The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy” (2nd ed.) New York: Cambridge Books. p. 43-44.

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