The Adult Learner: Only The Real Stuff Please

Ah, the classic battle of the ages – pedagogy vs. andragogy. Young learners vs. adult learners. How do adults learn differently? First, let’s take a quick look at a December 2015 article from by Elise Wile called Children Vs. Adult Learning.

Right off the bat, the author seems to peg children learners as curious and enthusiastic, and adults as ‘been there done that’ learners, with tons of previous knowledge. Adults can be self directed and do not need the same structure and hand holding that children learners need, Clearly, as adult educators we need to focus on job applicability and real life examples in order for them to be excited and see value in the education. Relevance is also important when teaching children, but with a more pedagogical approach, they will trust that the teacher knows what’s best. I really agree with the conclusion that the author makes when stating that both children and adults will learn best when engaged in active learning, in small groups.


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