Simple Action Steps that Make Adult Ed and Workforce Teachers Standout (Looking Like Experts on Adult Learning)

Facilitating adult learning is hard. It's like doing brain surgery, isn’t it?

You know how complicated things can get in the classroom. You also know your learners’ success depends on your planning and teaching skills. And you know you can always do a better job meeting their needs.

But you feel challenged daily by lots of issues: lack of learner motivation, low learner attendance, and poor information retention. You find the job exhausting and overwhelming.

So what are you doing wrong? What are you missing?

Well, chances are you might be overlooking your learner’s human nature and characteristics.

If you want to be a pro at facilitating learning and better connect with your audience, you need to understand learners’ barriers and  tap into their

  • interests,

  • needs, and

  • motivation.

In fact, to become a better adult-ed instructor, you should be able to tap into adult learning research and psychology. Taking these steps will open a window into the the adult learners' mind for you to see clearly how to better relate to them.

The secret is, mastering the basics about adult learning theory and psychology will make your look knowledgeable, setting you apart from the crowd.  

Where can you find this information? This is exactly what I set out to show you in this blog post.  Allow me to share 6 simple, easy-to-read articles that can help you understand your adult learners better.

Article # 1

Do you want to design a digital learning experience for your learners? Or are you interested in integrating technology in your classroom in a meaningful way? Article #1  provides concrete teaching strategies that will enable you to create effective digital learning experiences for learners.   

Article # 2

I already know you want to better understand adult learners’ motivation and barriers to adult learning because you are reading this. Article #2 offers research-based insights to reinforce your skills. By so doing, you will, therefore, become more knowledgeable—smarter. Honestly, this is a MUST-READ article!

Article # 3

Do you know the difference between deficiency needs and growth needs? In Article #3 the author uses Maslow’s work to shed light on that.  

Who is this Maslow's anyway? He’s a psychologist whose research focuses on the hierarchy of human needs as a motivational theory. Understanding Maslow’s work could allow you to tie your teaching to your learners’ most urgent needs.

Article # 4 an 5

Do you need a quick summary of Malcolm Knowles’s adult learning theory (also known as “Andragogy”) for your teaching repertoire? Both Article #4 and Article #5 are short and straight to the point but cover the gist of Knowles’s work.

Article # 6

Article #6 is a how-to article. It describes some of the barriers to adult learning and  gives input on how to bridge the learning gap. Want to better serve your students? You can’t go wrong with this one!

To sum things up, you can become well versed on adult-learning theory (if you want to). Doing this is a smart professional move. Why? You will understand adult learners better and you’ll be a smarter teacher.  Doesn’t that sound cool?!

I did my part. Now, it's your turn to take the first step.

You can move this adult ed conversation forward by sharing the post with your favorite adult-ed colleagues. Thanks for being part of it!

The coach

Teddy Edouard is a Learning Consultant & an Instructional Coach with a passion for Teaching, Learning, and Cognitive Science. He is on a mission to help institutions, teachers, and training professionals maximize the effectiveness of their instructional and non-instructional interventions. Teddy translates adult learning theories and other research into ready-to-use classroom teaching tips and strategies for the benefits of adult learners and instructors.

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