Working with adults is challenging. I was thinking about this recently when someone asked me about my thoughts on coaching teachers and I remembered a list of statements, about working with adults, produced by Robin Fogarty and Brian Pete.
Here they are. See if you agree or disagree:
1 Adults seek learning experiences to cope with life-changing events.
2 For adults, learning is its own reward.
3 Adults prefer survey courses to single concept classes.
4 Adults want to use new materials.
5 Adults are quick to re-evaluate old material.
6 Adults prefer to learn alone.
7 Adults prefer to sit and be taught.
8 Adults prefer 'how to' trainings.
9 An eclectic approach works best with adults.
10 Non-human learning (books, TV,) is popular in adult learning.
11 Adults don't like problem-centred learning.
12 Adults carry reservoirs of personal experiences.
13 'Real world' exercises are preferred.
14 Adults let their schoolwork take second place to jobs and family.
15 Adults transfer ideas and skills easily into their work setting.
16 Adults are self directed learners.
17 Facilitation of groups works better than lecture formats with adults.
18 Adults expect their class time to be well-spent.
19 Adult learners are voluntary, self-directed learners.
20 Adults are pragmatic learners.
Sources: (Knowles 1973, Zemke, 1995)
Point 10 might be different these days as the internet is not included. Malcolm Knowles focused his attention on the learner is his seminal peiece The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species. his contention is that adult learners are an entity unto themselves.
What are your thoughts?