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(Ages 15 - 19)


High level of social needs and desires

Are very interested in coeducational (mixed gender) activities.

Want and need a strong voice in planning their own activities.
Want to take adult leadership roles.

Areas of interest are more consistent than  at earlier stages. Patterns of interest are becoming more definite.

Often need guidance in selecting careers.

Are beginning to think of leaving home for training, schooling, employment, marriage.

Many will leave the community for employment, and many who go to school or training will not return to their present community after graduation.

Implications For Curriculum

Emphasize leadership life skills that relate to social development

Provide opportunities for self-expression.
Encourage coeducational learning experiences and working together on projects.

Encourage youth to plan programs/activities with guidance and support of adult facilitators.
Encourage working with adult role models.

Emphasize guidance and counsel from adults rather than directions.
Encourage in-depth study of leadership roles and life skills.

Apply leadership life skill to career exploration, especially decision making.
Encourage learning activities involving the community.

(Emphasize application of leadership life skills and population eduction concepts to being on your own and establishing your personal and family values and goals.)


Characteristics of Adult Learners

Self-Concept:  Adult learners see themselves as capable of self-direction and want others to see them the same way. In fact, one definition of maturity is the capacity to be self-directing.

Experience: Adults bring a lifetime of experience to the learning situation. Young people tend to regard experience as something that has happened to them, while to adults, their experiences are them. Adults define who they are in terms of their experiences. Adults come with a wide range of familiarity with the subject matter. They have a broad base of experience upon which to draw and to share with others.

Readiness to Learn: Adult developmental tasks increasingly move toward social and occupational role competence and away from the more physical developmental tasks of childhood.

A Problem-Centered Time Perspective: Young people think of education as the accumulation of knowledge for use in the future. Adults tend to think of learning as a way to be more effective in problem solving today. Provide a variety of learning opportunities.

Orientation: Adults want information to be relevant to their needs and immediately applicable. Adults are very "now" oriented. Adults are interested in solving problems they confront in everyday living and decision making.

Activities:   Adults have many other things going on in their lives: families, jobs, community and social responsibilities. For most adults, education is secondary. Time is limited for participation in learning opportunities.

Sensitivity: Adults are extremely sensitive to failure in learning situation. Some may feel tension or stress in a classroom setting. This is especially true with adults who have left school early.

Learning style: Adults learn best when they are active participants in the learning process. (This is also true for youth!)

Self-Perception:  Many adults face barriers to learning, such as: unlearning, unrealistic goals, poor self-image, and past failures.

Adults as Learners. Train the Trainer. Unit 4

Implications for Adult Learning

Identify what the learners want/need to learn in a climate of openness and respect.

Most adults enjoy planning and carrying out their own learning experiences.

Most adults need to evaluate their own progress toward self-chosen goals.

Use more experiential techniques.

Plan ways to involve adults with expertise in the learning activities.

Allow time and encourage participation, especially sharing time.

Discovering how to learn from experience is vital to self-actualization. ...Reaching the individual's full potential.

Find out what the learners need and want to learn.

Adults' readiness to learn and teachable moments peak when a learning opportunity links with the need to know.

Most adults can identify their own teachable moments.

Adults need to identify the competencies of their occupation and social roles.

Adult education is better if it is problem-centered.

Be sure to help adults understand how they can immediately use the information you are sharing with them.

Adults in a "skills" learning situation need to leave the first session with a direct experience in the subject.

Provide many problem solving experiences.

Adults need the opportunity to apply their learning quickly.

Encourage sharing of successful situations.

Learning opportunities must be offered on a flexible time schedule, designed to meet learner availability and needs. Short-term commitments are more realistic and more readily agreed to during learning experiences.

Mistakes are opportunities for learning. Eliminate the appearance of grades, tests, etc. Provide opportunities for adults to achieve success For someone to reject adult experience is to reject the adult

Use a variety of learning experiences that involve all the senses to add interest as well as accommodate the individual needs and promote learning. Assist with helping adults unlearn information if this is necessary for learning new ways. Old habits die hard! Help adults and youth set realistic goals.

 Instructor-centered learning and lecturing is least effective for most adult learners. Diversify your teaching/learning methods. Use methods that allow for participation and sharing of knowledge by participants. Helping adults acquire confidence and a more positive self image is sometimes necessary to change performance.

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