It is a shared understanding that an adult’s established values, beliefs, and opinions influence the way the individual learns (Drago-Severson, 2009). Besides, a person’s beliefs, opinions, and values will affect how an adult approaches a learning process. Teaching adults is different compared to teaching children because the former is affirmative of their environment and their need for education, unlike the latter. For example, adults understand the need to attach importance to various concepts. Secondly, adult learners tend to learn when they have the freedom to approach ideas using their insights. For example, adult learners seek to learn concepts that will be of value to them. Examples of instructional activities that can help adults learn are classroom activities and lab experiments.
Tutors need to consider personal beliefs, opinions and personal values of adult students (Merriam & Bierema, 2013). For example, adult learners will fail to learn if they are taught things that they can practice in the real world. Also, adult learners are people with personal responsibilities and expectations. Therefore, it would be impractical to teach adults things that they cannot apply in the real world. Furthermore, adults will subjectively reject any reading material that is contrary to their belief. Therefore, tutors need to be vigilant when teaching adult learners. Examples of instructional activities that can facilitate learning among adults are community projects and curriculum development (Merriam & Bierema, 2013).
According to Rothwell (2008), andragogy is centered on adult’s personal beliefs, opinions, and attitudes. Adults need practical approaches to solve their daily needs. Therefore, adult learning should be focused on providing solutions which require an immediate application. It is true that adults will use their opinions, beliefs, and values when learning because they have a lot of life experiences that they will use as a resource for learning (Rothwell, 2008). Therefore, tutors should have a different methodology when teaching adults. Examples of instructional activities that will facilitate learning among adults are classroom activities that require role playing and case studies.
Drago-Severson, E. (2009). Leading adult learning: Supporting adult development in our schools. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.
Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2013). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. San Fransisco: A Wiley Brand.
Rothwell, W. J. (2008). Adult learning basics. Alexandria: ASTD Press.