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Adult Learners’ Characteristics
8 Important Characteristics Of Adult Learners - eLearning Industry
Malcolm Knowles, author of the book The Modern Practice of Adult Education , proposes four assumptions about adult learning that nurses should be familiar with. First, adults value self-direction. They view themselves as capable of making decisions, taking responsibility for the consequences of choices, and being able to manage their own lives. Adults are motivated to learn when they perceive that they have a need to learn. Second, adults bring a variety of life experiences to the learning situation. Relate new knowledge to knowledge that has already been learned. Third, learning readiness is strongly influenced by social roles and developmental tasks.
Six Characteristics of Adult Learners
These habits of mind are shaped by both internal cognitive processes and external social contexts. Learning in adulthood is distinguished by its self-directed and critically reflective nature, as well as its rootedness in everyday experiences and the social roles associated with those experiences. Decades of research in the behavioral and social sciences confirm what philosophers, novelists, and other observers of mankind have always known — learning does not stop with the conclusion of formal education; it is, rather, a lifelong process. We now know that, instead of ending in adolescence, as developmental psychologist Jean Piaget — postulated, cognitive development continues well into adulthood.
To access hundreds of premium or staff resources, log in or sign up for an account. Andragogy is the study of how adults learn and is a theory developed by Malcolm Knowles based on a variety of research centered on adult development, needs, and learning styles. More recent theories of adult learning have called these assumptions into question, proposing that there may be degrees or certain conditions under which they apply or that self-direction, for instance, may be desirable but not always the reality of adult learners.