Public Speaking – Apply Adult Learning Principles For More Effective Training

Did you know that adults have special needs as learners?

When we were kids, we went to school, and we sat through class every day, and our teachers taught everyone pretty much the same way. It didn’t really matter if you were a visual learner, an auditory learner, or a kinesthetic learner. The teacher pretty much did whatever s/he felt most comfortable doing. Times have changed, and teachers are more aware of learning styles now, and other issues that affect children’s learning.

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How to Engage Adult Learners – Six Steps to Adult Learning Success

The Chinese philosopher, Lao Tse, provides a brief but eloquent prescription for adult learning:

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Mezirow’s Transformational Learning Theory

Adults are the products of their individual histories and experiences, which influence their attitudes, thinking processes, and conceptualizations of their worlds. John Mezirow believed that adults can be “transformed” through a process involving a “disorientating dilemma” followed by critical reflection and new interpretations of experience. Expanding this theory to teaching, the educator must encourage students to examine their personal assumptions, explore other possibilities and test all for validity. Learning comes from the examinations and new idea formulation. The application of critical thinking skills uses this methodology. Many universities are changing the way learning takes place; rather than lecture they are using methods of discovery which yield transformational learning.

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