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Barriers to learning


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Barriers to learning

  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. What are some commonbarriers experienced by adultlearners when they choose to return to school or participate in workplace training?
  3. 3. 1. Attitudinal Barriers2. Time and Financial Barriers3. Education Barriers4. Geographical Barriers5. Learning Disabilities
  4. 4. So 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 can not afford 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 priorexperiencesHave 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’S ROLE Be a facilitator:1. 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’S ROLE2. Adults bring life Acknowledge value ofexperiences and previous experienceknowledge to learningexperiences
  12. 12. APPLYING KNOWLES EDUCATOR’S ROLEKNOWLES’ PRINCIPLES Show direct link3. Adults are goal oriented between course material and student’s goals Use real case studies to examine theory
  13. 13. APPLYING KNOWLESKNOWLES’ PRINCIPLES EDUCATOR’S ROLE4. Adults are relevancy Provide assignmentoriented options that reflect student 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’S ROLE6. Adult learners like to be Acknowledge pastrespected experience Treat adult learner as an equal Promote an environment for expression of ideas
  17. 17. Most adults have their hands full.Between work, family and homeresponsibilities, we can feel like we cango 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 oldShe’s a wife and mother of three childrenShe’s been a Medical Lab Assistant for 18 yearsShe feels she cannot progress further in her career• She and her husband are worried about future tuition costs for their childrenShe needs to expand her career by developing new skillsShe 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 Cost of extra e of day child ca Tim re ot su itable during c ourse n shift work hours for Co Lac cou st o k ofto 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 further educationwill improve her career and self.2. Ask her family to compromise. Example: Olderchildren can help with lunch preparation andbasic house keeping tasks Form a realistichousehold budget to accommodate the addedcosts of schooling.Form a realistic household budget toaccommodate the added costs of schooling.• Form a realistic household budget toaccommodate the added costs of schooling.
  22. 22. ALLEVIATING THE FEARSSandra Can...4. Develop time management strategies.Organize with a point/task by point/task on acalendar to understand her own abilities andhow to adjust her life to accommodate 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’S ROLE 1. Physiological Need. Ensure the classroom Refers to the basic environment is bodily requirements comfortable, needed to survive Equipment and resources must be in working order Offer short breaks throughout the lesson.
  25. 25. APPLYING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS Maslow Need EDUCATOR’S ROLE 2. Safety Need. Set clear expectations for the Refers to the course desire to be safe from Provide a personal physical or introduction to help students emotional injury feel at ease These strategies will help the educator seem more approachable when student issues arise
  26. 26. APPLYING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS Maslow Need EDUCATOR’S ROLE 3. Social Need. Creating 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’S ROLE 4. Esteem Need. Constantly provide positive Refers to the need and negative feedback to to be seen by students. (Also known as others, as well as “Constructive Criticism”) themselves, as a Be flexible and person of worth understanding of the hectic and importance schedules of students Guide them to success within the course
  28. 28. APPLYING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS Maslow Need EDUCATOR’S ROLE 5. Self-Actualization Provide consistent Need. Refers to the evaluations: desire to reach one’s Congratulate students on own potential and level something they of succession accomplished on a task or assignment Encourage students with specific guidelines on how 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 in business 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. High achievement can come from high expectation
  35. 35. APPLYING KELLER EDUCATOR STRATEGY1. Keep learners’ Use a variety of teachingattention methodsEncourage curiosity through problem solving and team researchInclude active participation
  36. 36. APPLYING KELLER EDUCATOR STRATEGY2. Show relevance Build on students’ previous experienceProvide the objective outcome (what’s in it for me?)Allow learners choice in how they learn
  37. 37. APPLYING KELLER EDUCATOR STRATEGY3. Build learners’ Provide feedback and supportconfidence to learnersAllow learners to see the link between effort and success – build each successAllow the learners to feel a sense of control over learning and success
  38. 38. APPLYING KELLER EDUCATOR STRATEGY4. Aim for learner Allow students tosatisfaction demonstrate newly acquired skills and knowledgeProvide reinforcement to promote desired behavioursKeep tasks challenging
  39. 39. Helping Exceptionalstudents Overcome Barriers
  40. 40. 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
  41. 41. THE EXCEPTIONALITY• An Auditory Processing Disorder affects language acquisition• Occurs when the brain is unable to separate meaningful sounds from background noise.• 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)
  42. 42. THE BARRIERS Students reported that learning barriersstemmed from what they experienced as a lack ofinstructor cooperation and school resources to accomodate their individual needs. (Fuller et al. 2004)
  43. 43. 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 pit y melarge an m is d I can’ the inst t hear ructor? e in s tructor Will th e me? acco modat
  44. 44. 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, Healey, Bradley, Hall, 2004)
  45. 45. APPLYING FULLER ET AL. EDUCATOR Accommodation1. Used varied Incorporate group work/discussioninstructional Enlist a scribe to take lecture notesstrategies Post lecture notes and media online Used varied Provide written instructions for tasksinstructional Allow students some time tostrategies generate responses to the topic before a discussion
  46. 46. APPLYING FULLER ET AL. EDUCATOR Accommodation2. Be ready to Contact relevant school office for modify accommodation tips assessments More time or fewer questions on for individual exam learner 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
  47. 47. APPLYING FULLER ET AL. EDUCATOR Accommodation3. Ensure the Seat student in centre of roomclassroom Allow students to tape lecturesenvironment Let students choose a quietis conducive space for individual and groupto learning work Encourage student to bring any assistive devices, like a personal FM system (American Academy of Audiology, 2010)
  48. 48. ReferencesAmerican Academy of Audiology. (2010). Guidelines for the diagnosis,treatment and management of children and adults with central auditoryprocessing disorder. Retrieved from:, T., and Draper, J.A. (Eds.). (1993). The craft of teachingadults. Toronto, ON: Culture Concepts.Bates, P., Aston, J. (2004). Overcoming barriers to adult basic skills insussex. 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 ofthe experience of disabled students in one university. Studies In HigherEducation, 29(3), 303-318.
  49. 49. ReferencesHuitt, W. (2007). Maslows hierarchy of needs. Educational PsychologyInteractive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from:,J.M., & Suzuki, K. (1988). Use of the ARCS motivation model incourseware design. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.) Instructional Designs forMicrocomputer Courseware. Hillsdale, NJ: LawrenceErlbaum.Kennedy, R.C. (2003). Applying principles of adult learning:the key to more effective training programs, FBI Law EnforcementBulletin, 72(4), 1-5. Retrieved from:, D., Suart, T., Potter, J. (2006). A review of the state ofthe field of adult learning: barriers to participation in adult learning.Retrieved from:
  50. 50. ReferencesQueensland 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: theinstructors role In retaining adult learners and Increasing their chancesof success in college. Proceedings from The National Conference onthe Adult Learner. Retrieved from: