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Models of Adult Education

Adults learn differently to children for several reasons: adults are autonomous and self-directed; they are goal-oriented; they are relevancy oriented (problem-centered) - they need to know why they are learning something; they are practical problem-solvers; they have accumulated life experiences (Adult). All these factors mean that you cannot expect to teach adults the same way you teach children. Adults typically have different motivations for wanting to learn than children, such as making or maintaining social relationships; meeting external expectations (e.g. need for promotion); to learn to serve others better; for professional advancement; to escape their present position, or for stimulation if their present job is boring; or just out of pure interest. Instructors need to be aware of these differences, and the different motivations of adult learners so they can prepare appropriate instructional materials.

There have been many attempts to construct theories or models of how and why adults learn, some more successful than others (Hiemstra). A few have drawn a lot of attention in the literature, but have not been thoroughly tested or developed and so have remained primarily associated with their originators. K. Patrician Cross was not trained in adult education, and it was not her main career, however she made a significant impact on the field with several publications during the seventies and eighties. She was involved with a number of publications which provided support for various U.S. efforts to develop adult non-traditional study opportunities. Her most important contribution was her 1981 publication, Adults as Learners, which was designed to synthesize as much information as was currently available on adult learning and served as a primary text for several years in North American graduate courses in adult learning. She popularized ideas about barriers ro adult learning, studies of participation, and developmental ...

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Models of Adult Education. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:12, April 21, 2019, from