Characteristics of Adults and Young People as Learners Essay

1091 Words Jun 19th, 2012 5 Pages
The Characteristics of adults and young people as learners
In this article we will consider the characteristics of young people and adults as learners. We will touch on the three main theories of teaching, identify and expand on three factors that have been identified as motivating adult learners and which the savvy teacher can use to increase the motivation of the learner. We will briefly consider five barriers that can affect a learner’s participation and or learning, looking at three of them in more detail together with some apt and practical support strategies to assist the learner and finally consider and outline the differences between pedagogical and andragogical models of learning.
Three main theories of teaching
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Mental processes such as thinking, memory and problem solving need to be taken into consideration in any learning scheme. Basically the metaphor of the mind is a computer is expounded ‘information comes in, is processed and precedes certain outcomes’

Three motivations for adult learners
• Social relationships: to make new friends, to meet a need for associations and friendships.
• External expectations: to comply with instructions from someone else; to fulfil the expectations or recommendations of someone with formal authority.
• Personal advancement: to achieve higher status in a job, secure professional advancement, and stay abreast of competitors. 5 Barriers to learning and participation
 Attitude to education. Belief that Education happens at school, Education is for the brainy, Education is for the young or ingrained negative experience from own school days
 Accessibility. Large imposing buildings, transport problems, complicated paper-work, unfriendly staff.
 Disability. Dyslexia, physical disability, Sense disability, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia.
 Cost. Course costs too high, travel costs, lack/cost of child care
 Personal attitudes. Fear of failure, Lack of confidence, low motivation
Key appropriate and practical strategies to support learners facing barriers to learning (3 examples)
 Attitude to education. The Tutor/Teacher should foster a friendly environment (but

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