Saturday, June 09, 2007

Features in Adult Learning

Adult learning is different from how children learns. Building on the work of Malcolm Knowles that adults have enough experience to organise their own learning by dialogue, American educationist Jane Vella suggests 12 principles of adult learning:

(1) needs assessment: students decided what they want to learn,

(2) a safe environment,

(3) sound relationship between teachers and students,

(4) careful attention to learning content sequence and reinforcement,

(5) learning by doing,

(6) respect for students as subjects of their own learning,

(7) involvement of ideas, feelings, actions,

(8) immediacy of learning,

(9) clear roles and roles development,

(10) teamwork in small groups,

(11) engagement the students in what they are learning, and

(12) evaluation.

Vella, J. (1994). Learning to Listen, Learning to Touch: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass Publishers.p.3-22.

Aside from dialogue, collaborative learning has also been found effective in adults.

Lee, M. (2000). "Experiencing Shared Inquiry Through the Process of Collaborative Learning." Teaching Theology and Religion 3(2): 108-116.

Pastors, teachers, and persons conducting adult education in churches must be aware of these facts.


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