ERIC Number: ED286041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Adult Learner: Implications and Activities for Implementation.
Ashmore, Rhea A.
Adult learners require teaching strategies that reflect their sociological and psychological characteristics. Adults can be defined, according to Babcock, as either traditional or nontraditional learners, with nontraditional students being those attending college after age 22. The needs of these learners vary depending upon their age, with older students being less available, more independent, more motivated, less flexible, more responsible, more learning focused, more experienced, and exhibiting less socialization expectation and more mutuality with the instructor. Intellectually, nontraditional students demonstrate lower abstract reasoning, higher knowledge, lower complex data organization, lower short-term memory, higher long-term memory, and equivalent ability to learn when compared to traditional students. The adult learner's needs and characteristics mandate a unique science of teaching--andragogy. Since the adult learner is independent and self-directed, educational situations involving the student in a role of dependency, captivity, and/or unquestioning compliance result in resentment and resistance. Learning strategies that use student input, such as laboratory experiments, discussions, problem-solving cases, and field experiences, are recommended. Since the adult learner is ready to learn when the content meets perceived needs, learning programs should be organized around life-application categories. Finally, as the adult learner is oriented to learning here and now, immediate application of new skills is necessary. (Two learning reinforcement strategies are included in this document.) (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Western College Reading and Learning Assocation (20th, Albuquerque, NM, April 1987).