When it comes to learning, adults and children are different in so many ways. Many adults are goal-oriented. They are motivated to learn if it helps them reach a specific goal. They decide for themselves what is important to be learned, where as, children depend on others to decide for them. Adults are already full of knowledge from past experiences. They now have the ability to serve as a resource to fellow classmates, creating a learning environment with more depth. This can also hinder potential learning if the adult has developed a fixed viewpoint and has no willingness to be open minded towards other views. While children are in school they have the understanding that what they are learning will be useful to them at some point in their future. While adults expect to get immediate use out the information they are gaining.
Creating the most effective learning enviroment is always on my mind. Ever day I walk into the classroom with new challenges, new students, new opportunities. Everyone learns different, everyone has a unique way of processing information. Being well educated on the characteristic of adult learners is the start to figuring out the best way deliver course material. Drawing from the students past experiences on related material is something I will start doing more often. This has the potential to strike up an in depth group conversion, because each persons experience may be different. This technique will also satisfy the adult learners need for a community based learning enviroment. "Many self-directed adult learners prefer a learning community with whom they can interact and discuss questions and issues" (Malamed, n.d).
I am looking forward to experimenting in the classroom, playing on the characteristic of adult learners, creating the most efficient learning situation for each individual.
C Malamed. (n.d). Characteristics of Adult Learners. Retrieved from http://theelearningcoach.com/learning/characteristics-of-adult- learners/