Adult Learning Theory

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Adult Learning Theory

  1. 1. Adult Learning Theory: A look at six factors that influence adult learning. Nicole Hill HRD 830 Dr. Stephen Bronack
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>ABOUT ME… </li></ul><ul><li>Manager, Compensation and Benefits Administration for Municipal Government </li></ul><ul><li>9+ years of experience in Human Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Job Classifications, Position Analysis, Recruitment, Employee Relations, Benefits Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Hobbies- Theater, Football (Go COWBOYS!), Guilty pleasure: Reality TV </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why I Chose This topic <ul><li>I feel that I have solid experience in many areas of Human Resources, but HRD is one area I could grow my skills with. Specifically Adult Education. </li></ul><ul><li>I am trying to implement a merit pay system that will require extensive training for supervisor on multiple learning levels. </li></ul><ul><li>I see it as a challenge because the status quo can make one very complacent. </li></ul>
  4. 4. On this topic… <ul><li>There’s tons of information on Adult Learning. Much of it is recent theory with the surge in interest in HRD. </li></ul><ul><li>My primary sources were HRD textbooks. They were quite insightful and gave good details. There was also quite a bit of information online as well. </li></ul>
  5. 5. More on this topic… <ul><li>Catch 22- One drawback that I observed in the analysis of this subject was the very thing that made it a great topic- the abundance of information. I often felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information, and at times found it hard to see the real difference in some of the theories surrounding adult education. Having too much source material can be a hindrance when trying to formulate and stick to a smooth cohesive thought process on ones core topic. I found myself wandering off message a few times. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Analysis <ul><li>In the realm of adult learning, there are endless theories for the successful facilitation of learning in both traditional and non traditional environments. Most theories bring slightly different perspectives on motivating the adult learner and getting the most out of training programs geared to adults. </li></ul><ul><li>I would like to focus in particular on the adult learning theory introduced in chapter 20 titled Coaching for Growth and Development. This chapter discusses six factors that influence adult learning as explained in the book Developing High Performance People: The Art of Coaching by; Mink, Owen and Mink </li></ul>
  7. 7. Six Factors That Influence Adult Learning <ul><li>More learning takes place if learning is seen as a voluntary, self initiated activity. </li></ul><ul><li>More learning takes place if in a climate of mutual respect. </li></ul><ul><li>The best learning takes place in an environment characterized by a spirit of collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning involves a balance between action and self reflection. </li></ul><ul><li>Effective coaching involves facilitation of self reflection. </li></ul><ul><li>People learn best when learning is self directed. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Key Points <ul><li>More learning takes place if learning is seen as a voluntary, self initiated activity… </li></ul><ul><li>This was the first and I think most poignant influencing factor. In most trainings that I have facilitated or been a participant in, it has been crucial for the success of the training to get people involved. This is really best done by making it voluntary and engaging the participants with self directed activities. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Continued… <ul><li>The theory that more learning takes place if learning is seen as a voluntary, self initiated activity can be a very good approach in some training environments. This would work well in less structured workplaces where creativity is encourage and the individual is seen as just as important as the whole. This would also seemingly be a good fit for an organization where workers are leery of authority and tend to be less participative with a structured facilitator regime. </li></ul><ul><li>In my own organization, we have maintenance and grounds workers whom sometimes tend to withdraw from true participation due to fear of truthful disclosure to facilitator directed questions. They sometimes feel that the questions are targeted and their answers can be used against them. Self directed activities would help in this situation by making the worker be a part of the facilitation and thus helping steer the questioning and the conversation. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Observation <ul><li>I really feel that I have taken away some very valuable information from completing this paper. From identifying the needs of both the participant as an adult learner to becoming a stronger facilitator. I came across some insightful questions that teachers use in evaluating their classes, and feel it will definitely help me in my pursuit to become a better facilitator. They really tie in well with the six factors that influence adult learning that I based my paper on and are definitely a good reflection tool. I thought I would share them with you… </li></ul>
  11. 11. Critical Questions <ul><li>To what extent does my training foster critical and creative thinking? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I encourage participants’ questions and curiosity? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I encouraging participants to listen and respond to the remarks of their peers during large and small groups discussions? </li></ul><ul><li>Do resources reflect fair, equitable and accurate portrayals of peoples of different cultures, ages and genders? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I aware of how culture and gender influence participants’ interaction and communication styles? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Contact me <ul><li>Nicole Hill </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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