Cognitive, Personality And Prior Knowledge Differences During Adult Learning

Superior Essays
Malcolm Knowles is credited with being the father of andragogy and outlined six assumptions associated with adult learning. These assumptions are 1) Learners need to know 2) Self-directed learning 3) Prior experience of the learner 4) Readiness to learn 5) Orientation to learning and 6) Motivation to learn. My personal experiences with each of these assumptions, while working with adults through professional learning experiences, have provided me with a certain degree of insight to help confirm validity in each. In this explanatory essay, I will share a few examples and address the relative significance of cognitive, personality, and prior knowledge differences during adult learning.
1. The need to know – As stated by Knowles, the first
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The role of the learner 's experiences – Having a larger quantity (and quality as Knowles states) of experiences than young children, creates a situation where adult learners are better able to create their own meaning from an instructional experience. This means the adults in the room are often the best resource in the actual process of learning. In a professional learning setting, the depth and breadth of knowledge that exists in a room of educators is often quite amazing. Facilitators of adult learners may often find that if they can simply provide a forum and some sense of structure, the learners will take the content of the workshop to the place they need it to go. Addressing the differences in cognition, personality, and prior knowledge is critical for this assumption as well. By recognizing the experiences of others and facilitating appropriately, adult learners will find a comfort level where they enjoy bringing their individual strengths to the table for the betterment of the entire …show more content…
As stated by Knowles, “Human learning is one of the most complex subjects of the scientific and scholarly world. While it is easy to demonstrate how little we know about the human mind, we can, on the other hand, acknowledge the sheer volume of research and common sense available to us to better understand the learning phenomena. We are not ignorant about the learning process” (2015, p. 233). Through reflection and careful observation, teaching and learning for adults can continue to be understood and

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