Characteristics of Adult Learners
The following points drawn from from Ron and Suzan Zembe's article titled "30 Things We Know for Sure About Adult Learning" (June 1981 issue of Training/HRD are helpful to remember:
Go to Bloom's Taxonomy.
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- Adults seek out learning experiences in order to cope with specific life-changing events. A very high proportion of your students will have recently experienced -- or be in the process of
of experiencing -- job termination, divorce, birth of a child, marriage, loss of a loved one, moving to a new city or a similar major life event.
- For most adults, learning is not its own reward. Eighty or ninety per cent of the adults who are motivated to go to school do so primarily because they have use for the knowledge or skill sought.
- Adults learn new concepts more slowly, but they compensate by being more accurate and making fewer trial and error ventures.
- Adults tend to take errors personally.
- As many as 80% of students polled prefer straightforward "how-to" content orientation.
- Finally, adult learners need to be able to integrate new ideas with what they know if they are to retain the new information.