Talkin’ Trends in Adult Learning

There are vast learning theories that link theory and practices in modern andragogy. Instruction and learning are tied at the hip between instructors and learners for creating shared success. Success is often attributed to learners ability to retain and understand information, and instructors success is heavily weighed on being able to adopt a mix of art and science to model positive engaging-participatory learning experience that is purposeful. How do we best learn? And how can we best retain information? What can we do to motivate learners ?

Some common andragogy learning theories that are widely incorporated as best practices are:





Adult learning methodologies accept the following learning concepts:

-self-directed learning

-transformative learning

-experience learning

-experimental learning

-motivation in learning

 *Ongoing research into brain plasticity, an evolving area of research is having a continuous impact on how adult learner are evolving in knowledge and understanding of information processes. 

On June 1, 2020 (Happy Canada day-eh!) on a peer-to-peer phone call with Sandy. K, we got chatting about some of the aforementioned theories and concepts. We highlighted each others experiences inside and outside the classroom; and how we best learn ourselves. Additionally, we exchanged our insights into ongoing best adult learning practices, and the shifts and adoption of ongoing learner-centered approaches in adult education. Adult education is an evolving space. With new technology, and changes in work and labour vastly shifting traditional educational centers and practices to open-learning platforms. Both of us recognize and agree that staying current on educational trend is key; and will drive drive instructor success for effective mentoring.

Our chat was scheduled for 15 minutes; however, 86 minutes and 58 seconds later we had touched on wide-ranging influences in adult education and learning. Yet our phone calls greatest impact took shape in our self-awareness, self-reflection in what works for us and doesn’t work for us in the classroom. Some of the influencing factors for how we teach are:

–         bring personal life experiences and relate them to students

–         construction of discipline in disruptive behavior

–         management of the classroom design, layout and environment

–         coaching-mentoring-counselling for optimal performance

–         frustrations with curriculum and design

–         being too careful avoiding mistakes

–         how we learn from mistakes

–         matching creativity and science for engagement and participation

–         tendencies to be too nice when starting as adult educators

–         incorporate our style  and adapting to group-instruction

–         recognize each group or class is distinct

–         experience, exploring and research, ongoing learning

–         personal ideologies cultural influence on learning and education

Sharing ideas and information of education material system-wide is a key for educators and learners to be successful inside and outside the classroom. As mentioned earlier, our 86 minute and 58-second phone call conversation did much more than simply creating a forum for an opportunity to discuss adult learning articles and periodicals such as Trends in Long Term Care- A New Era In Dementia Care, Characteristic of Adult Learners, Classroom Management Tips for Regaining Control of the Classroom, Characteristics of Adult Students (All of which are very good resources to improve instruction in the classroom).

Furthermore, the phone call provided new fresh perspectives on current trends and practices in the field of education; an opportunity to self-reflect on what works for each of us through a peer-to-peer exchange of sharing experiences; personal experiences in our own lifelong learning and bring another instructor’s lens to re-think, reflect and to action ‘outside the box’ thinking to adopt new ideas into our classroom; and to create a better classroom experience for learners and instructors alike.

Try a peer-to-peer conversation for self-awareness. By reflecting on past and present learning experiences, today, both Sandy and I ensure positive effects in future leadership roles.

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