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Barriers to learning_group_edits

  1. 1. Barriers to Adult LearningPROJECT By: Patti Blight, Sarah Cancelliere, Danielle Gunton, Avril Reid, Kerry WeirDUE DATE JANUARY 16 2013 COURSE BEC910CE- ADULT EDUCATION
  2. 2. ADULT LEARNING BARRIERS What are some commonbarriers experienced by adultlearners when they choose to return to school or participate in workplace training?
  3. 3. POSSIBLE BARRIERS TO ADULT LEARNING 1. Attitudinal Barriers 2. Time and Financial Barriers 3. Education Barriers 4. Institutional Barriers 5. Learning Disabilities
  4. 4. QUESTION TO EDUCATORSSo what can we do as educators to help our students overcome these barriers and take control of their own learning?
  6. 6. THE CASE•Anita is over 50•She has been in her job for 20 years•Her job is being outsourced•She is unable to retire•She needs to develop new skills•She needs to go back to school
  7. 7. THE BARRIER “Many adults have experienced so much criticism, failure, anddiscouragement in their youth that theirself-confidence and sense of worth are damaged. In a new learning environment, adults often are anxious,fear failure, and dread rejection by their peer group (Kennedy, 2003).”
  8. 8. ALLEVIATING THE FEARS• Provide a safe and welcomingenvironment• Have students interact and discuss priorexperiences• Have students explain their goals• Provide students with detailed courseoutline and expectations
  9. 9. THE EDUCATOR“Part of being an effective educator involves understanding how adults learn best (Lieb,1991)”.
  10. 10. APPLYING KNOWLESKNOWLES’ PRINCIPLES EDUCATOR STRATEGY •Be a facilitator1. Adults are internallymotivated and self •Understand how adultsdirected learn and allow students to participate in the direction of the class •Recognize and accommodate different learning styles
  11. 11. APPLYING KNOWLESKNOWLES’ PRINCIPLES EDUCATOR STRATEGY2. Adults bring life •Acknowledge value ofexperiences and previous experienceknowledge to learningexperiences
  12. 12. APPLYING KNOWLESKNOWLES’ PRINCIPLES EDUCATOR STRATEGY3. Adults are goal oriented •Show direct link between course material and students’ goals •Use real case studies to examine theory
  13. 13. APPLYING KNOWLESKNOWLES’ PRINCIPLES EDUCATOR STRATEGY4. Adults are relevancy •Provide assignmentoriented options that reflect students’ interests •Provide students with reflective questions to assess connection to goals
  14. 14. APPLYING KNOWLESKNOWLES’ PRINCIPLES EDUCATOR’S ROLE5. Adults are practical •Encourage active participation allowing students to experiment and develop self efficacy •Provide feedback on a regular basis
  15. 15. APPLYING KNOWLESKNOWLES’ PRINCIPLES EDUCATOR STRATEGY •Acknowledge past6. Adult learners like to be experiencerespected •Treat adult learner as an equal •Promote an environment for expression of ideas
  17. 17. OVERLOAD?As adults we have their hands full.Between work, family and homeresponsibilities, we can feel like we aregoing a little crazy. Is there really enough time in the dayand extra money to spend on growingourselves intellectually?
  18. 18. THE CASE•Sandra is 40 years old•She’s a wife and mother of three children•She’s been a Medical Lab Assistant for 18 years•She feels she cannot progress further in her career•She and her husband are worried about future tuitioncosts for their children•She needs to expand her career by developing newskills•She wants to go back to school
  19. 19. THE BARRIER“How will I juggle family, work and school? There are only so many hours in a day… Women, by characteristic, experience a greater amount of guilt about her student role if she feels it interrupts herresponsibility for maintaining her role within the family. Consequently, if she feels too much strain during this time, she will ultimately give up school to make things easier.” (Shields, 1994)
  20. 20. THE FEARS day Cost of e of extra Tim child ca ot su itable re durin g n course shift work hours for Lac Co k of cou st oto c time rse f omm ma an it to ter d cou ia ls rse
  21. 21. ALLEVIATING THE FEARSSandra Can...1. Discuss with her family how furthereducation will improve her career and self.2. Ask her family to compromise.Example: Older children can help with lunchpreparation and basic housekeeping tasks3. Form a realistic household budget toaccommodate the added costs of schooling.
  22. 22. ALLEVIATING THE FEARSSandra Can...4. Develop time management strategies.Organize by task on a calendar to understandher own abilities and how to adjust her life toaccommodate others.Example: Put on calendar dates of school,work and family events. Put due dates forbills, school assignments, etc.
  23. 23. THE EDUCATOR “Much of the excitement of learning is inthe evolving, unpredictable and unanticipatedlearning that inevitably occurs. Realizing that the richest resource in the classroom are the members present, helped teachers of adults to relax and enjoy themselves too. Such congruence between belief and practice enhanced all.” (Barer-Stein and Draper, 1993).
  24. 24. APPLYING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS MASLOW NEED EDUCATOR STRATEGY 1. Physiological Need •Ensure the classroom Refers to the basic environment is comfortable bodily requirements •Equipment and resources needed to survive must be in working order •Offer short breaks throughout the lesson
  25. 25. APPLYING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS MASLOW NEED EDUCATOR STRATEGY 2. Safety Need •Set clear expectations for Refers to the the course desire to be safe •Provide a personal from physical or introduction to help students emotional injury feel at ease •Be approachable and accessible
  26. 26. APPLYING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS MASLOW NEED EDUCATOR STRATEGY 3. Social Need •Create an “ice breaker” Refers to the lesson: need for love, •Form the students into small belonging and groups and allow them to acceptance from introduce themselves others •Have students talk about their strengths, weaknesses and state their expectations for the course
  27. 27. APPLYING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS MASLOW NEED EDUCATOR STRATEGY 4. Esteem Need Constantly provide positive Refers to the need and critical feedback to to be seen by students. (Also known as others, as well as “Constructive Criticism”) themselves, as a person of worth Be flexible and and importance understanding of the hectic schedules of students Guide them to success within the course
  28. 28. APPLYING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS Maslow Need EDUCATOR STRATEGY 5. Self-Actualization •Provide consistent Need evaluations Refers to the desire to •Congratulate students reach one’s potential on accomplishments and level of succession •Encourage students to move beyond their comfort levels
  30. 30. THE CASE•Maude is 40 years old•She is a high performer in her job at a factory•She would like to advance in the company•Her employer has recommended courses inbusiness administration in order to advance•Her literacy and computer skills are low
  31. 31. THE BARRIER “While adult learners who have some academic skills can find learningopportunities to refresh these skills, those who have very poor literacy skills or who have difficulty communicating in thelanguage of instruction may not be able to gain easy access to related programs.” (MacKeracher, Suart, Potter 2006)
  32. 32. THE FEARS n t gai How w an’ any ill I ge f I c e to t he s u t at i nc Will ppor t Wh pta that I need? acce am? others pr ogr laugh at me?What if I can’t keepup with students Whwho have more ca at ifacademic skills? n’t I ju do st i t?
  33. 33. THE EDUCATOR “Designing educational institutions and learning opportunities to serve the adult learners who encounter the most barriers to participation – learners with low incomes, lowliteracy skills, foreign credentials, and learning, sensory and mobility disabilities –creates a learning environment that equitably serves all learners.” (MacKeracher, Suart, Potter, 2006)
  34. 34. Overcoming the Barrier1. Provide instruction in a variety of formats2. Support learners in gaining basic skills and access to academic programs3. Use mixed group learning where students of different skills learn together4. Recognize previous learning and experience5. Demonstrate high expectations to produce high achievement
  35. 35. APPLYING KELLER EDUCATOR STRATEGY1. Keep learners’ •Use a variety of teachingattention methods •Encourage curiosity through problem solving and team research •Include active participation
  36. 36. APPLYING KELLER EDUCATOR STRATEGY2. Show relevance •Build on students’ previous experience •Provide the objective outcome (what’s in it for me?) •Allow learners a choice in how they learn
  37. 37. APPLYING KELLER EDUCATOR STRATEGY3. Build learners’ •Provide feedback and support toconfidence learners •Allow learners to see the link between effort and success – build each success •Allow the learners to feel a sense of control over learning and success by providing choice in learning methods and pace of instruction
  38. 38. APPLYING KELLER EDUCATOR STRATEGY4. Aim for learner •Allow students tosatisfaction demonstrate newly acquired skills and knowledge •Provide reinforcement to promote desired behaviours •Keep tasks challenging
  40. 40. THE CASE• Terry is a 30 year old single mom• She lives in Fort William First Nation, a small rural town outside of Thunder Bay• She does not own a vehicle• Terry has decided that she would like to go back to school to upgrade her marketable skills• She signs up for a distance education class because she cannot afford to take classes in town
  41. 41. THE BARRIER “Institutional barriers (inconvenient class schedules, full time fees for part-time study,restrictive locations) often exclude or discourage certain groups of learners such as the poor, the uneducated, and the foreign born. In addition, adults living in certain geographical areas, especially those in small towns and rural areas, are less likely to participate in educationalactivities.” (Johnstone and Rivera, Volunteers for Learning.)
  42. 42. THE FEARS d er stan d Will others e y un ll th ture? Wi u l laugh at c me? my How the will I ge s that upport t I ne ed? Ho the w caHow will I get av re s n I a ail ou ccthere? ab rce es le sa to s ll me ?
  43. 43. OVERCOMING THE BARRIER• Create material that is targeted to learner• Be aware of the community and its people• Guarantee support provisions are in place, if needed• Create short lessons/sessions• Continually provide feedback
  44. 44. APPLYING MASLOW EDUCATOR STRATEGYSelf Actualization •Guarantee that distanceNeedRealizing personal education students have accesspotential, self- to educational servicesfulfillment, seekingpersonal growth and •Include step-by-step material onpeak experiences how to access services in course introduction •Create a discussion page where students can see their grades and receive constant feedback
  45. 45. APPLYING MASLOW EDUCATOR STRATEGYEsteem needs •Get to know students andSelf-esteem, ensure a close home-school linkachievement, •Make special arrangementsmastery, where this occursindependence, •Provide an opportunity forstatus, dominance, students to bond and feel aprestige, managerial sense of belongingresponsibility, etc. •Create online group activities to give students a chance to get to know one another.
  46. 46. APPLYING MASLOW EDUCATOR STRATEGYBelongingness •Be aware of the communityand love needs and tailor the training materialWork group, •Maintain sensitivity to culturalfamily, affection, environment?relationships, etc. •Create an introduction method that will make you aware of your students’ background •Acknowledge contributions
  47. 47. APPLYING MASLOW EDUCATOR’S ROLESafety needs •Provide students withProtection from information related toelements, security, school support andorder, law, limits, services.stability, etc. •Be aware of the community and use inclusive language •Guarantee you are easily accessible
  48. 48. HelpingExceptional Students Overcome Barriers
  49. 49. THE CASE• Viktor is 28 years old• He wants to progress in his career• He has an auditory processing disorder (APD)• He will need accommodations when he goes back to school
  50. 50. THE EXCEPTIONALITY• An Auditory Processing Disorder affects language acquisition• Exceptionality is classified as a Communication- Language Impairment• A person with an APD may have:• Trouble following conversations• Difficulties reading, writing, and learning technical language• Organizational issues(American Academy of Audiology, 2010)
  51. 51. THE BARRIERS Students reported that learning barriersstemmed from what they experienced as a lack of instructor cooperation and schoolresources to accommodate their individual needs. (Fuller, Healey, Bradley, Hall, 2004)
  52. 52. THE FEARS rces t re resou ort on’t wan Ar e the to supp Id s to ilable ? peer ava me my What if the roo pity melarge an m is d I can’ the inst t hear ructor? e in s tructor Will th e me? acco modat
  53. 53. A SOCIAL MODEL OF DISABILITY Instead of focusing on a student’s medical diagnosis, concentrate onwhich learning barriers will prevent this student from reaching his or her full potential in the classroom. (Fuller et al., 2004)
  54. 54. APPLYING FULLER ET AL. EDUCATOR STRATEGY 1. Use varied •Incorporate group work/discussioninstructional •Enlist a scribe to take lecturestrategies notes •Post lecture notes and media online •Provide written instructions for tasks •Allow students some time to generate responses to the topic before a discussion
  55. 55. APPLYING FULLER ET AL. EDUCATOR STRATEGY2. Be ready to •Contact relevant school officemodify for accommodation tipsassessments •More time or fewer questionsfor individual on examlearner needs •Use yellow paper instead of white as it is easier to read (Bennet, Dworer, Weber, 2008) •Allow student to complete tests using a scribe or computer
  56. 56. APPLYING FULLER ET AL. EDUCATOR STRATEGY3. Ensure the •Seat student in centre of roomclassroom •Allow students to tape lecturesenvironmentis conducive •Let students choose a quietto learning space for individual and group work •Encourage student to bring any assistive devices, like a personal FM system (American Academy of Audiology, 2010)
  57. 57. ReferencesAmerican Academy of Audiology. (2010). Guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and management of children and adults with central auditory processing disorder. Retrieved from: %208-2010.pdfBarer-Stein, T., and Draper, J.A. (Eds.). (1993). The craft of teaching adults. Toronto, ON: Culture Concepts.Bates, P., Aston, J. (2004). Overcoming barriers to adult basic skills in sussex. Institute for Employment Studies. Retrieved from:, S., Dworet, D., Weber, K. (2008). Special education in ontario schools (6th ed.). St David’s, ON: Highland Press.Fuller, M., Healey, M., Bradley, A., & Hall, T. (2004). Barriers to learning: a systematic study of the experience of disabled students in one university. Studies In Higher Education, 29(3), 303-318.Crawford, D. L. (2004). The Role of Aging in Adult Learning: Implications for Instructors in Higher Education . Retrieved from education/implications/index.html.Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. (2002). Motivating adult learners to their highest potential. Retrieved from:
  58. 58. ReferencesGoncalves, A. (2003). Development of quality learning models. Retrieved from:, W. (2007). Maslows hierarchy of needs. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from:, J.M., & Suzuki, K. (1988). Use of the ARCS motivation model in courseware design. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.) Instructional Designs for Microcomputer Courseware. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence.Kennedy, R.C. (2003). Applying principles of adult learning: the key to more effective training programs, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 72(4), 1-5. Retrieved from: services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/2003-pdfs/april03leb.pdf.Levy, S. (2003). Six factors to consider when planning online distance learning programs in higher education. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 6(1). Retrieved from:, C. (2005). Barriers to Participating in Learning and in the Community. Retrieved from: %20learning.pdf.
  59. 59. ReferencesMacKeracher, D., Suart, T., Potter, J. (2006). A review of the state of the field of adult learning: barriers to participation in adult learning. Retrieved from: http://www.ccl- Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative. (2007). adult learning theory and principles. Retrieved from:, C.J. (1994). Back in school: a guide for adult learners. Hawthorne, NJ: Career Press.Siebert, A. (2000). Teaching students the way they learn: the instructors role In retaining adult learners and Increasing their chances of success in college. Proceedings from The National Conference on the Adult Learner. Retrieved from:, C. (2004). Access barriers experienced by adults in distance education courses and programs: a review of the research literature. Proceedings from the Midwest Research-to Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, and Community Education. Retrieved from:;jsessionid=4D51BE277293A9CC 5325D674C8BBE72B?sequence=1.