ERIC Number: ED468614
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Adults: Is It Different? Myths and Realities.
Teaching adults should be different if adults learn differently than children do. Theories or perspectives on adult learning, such as andragogy, make a number of assertions about the characteristics of adults as learners. If there are indeed distinctive characteristics of adults, on which claims for the uniqueness and coherence of adult education are based, then one might expect them to be taken into account in all organized education for adults. However, each of these characteristics is contested. Some question the extent to which these assumptions are characteristic of adults only. The literature promotes learner-centeredness as another distinguishing characteristic of adult education. Research indicates learner centeredness is an expression of a teacher's values, not a teaching method. Adult learners are more concerned with teacher character and appropriate teaching methods; adult students' conceptions of good teaching include a mix of teacher-directed and learner-centered characteristics. Ongoing debates--andragogy vs. pedagogy, teacher directed vs. learner centered--may mean no single theory explains how adult learning differs from children's learning. Appropriate choices about teaching practices should be based on numerous considerations, including context, learner knowledge and characteristics, and teacher beliefs and values. (Contains 22 references) (YLB)
Descriptors: Active Learning, Adult Development, Adult Education, Adult Learning, Adult Students, Age Differences, Andragogy, Educational Theories, Instruction, Learner Controlled Instruction, Student Attitudes, Student Centered Curriculum, Student Characteristics, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods
For full text: http://www.ericacve.org/pubs.asp.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.