How Adults Learn
How Adults Learn
According to Minneapolis training experts Ron and Susan Zemke, adults learn for a purpose. They wrote, "Adults tend to have a problem-centered orientation to learning." So when designing an education program they suggest you keep in mind the following:
- Adult learners tend to prefer single concept, single-theory courses that focus heavily on the application of the concept to relevant problems. This tendency increases with age.
- Adults need to be able to integrate new ideas with what they already know if they are going to keep — and use — the new information. Information that has little "conceptual overlap" with what already is known is acquired slowly.
- Information that conflicts sharply with what is already held to be true, and thus forces a reevaluation of the old material, is integrated more slowly.
- Adults prefer self-directed and self-designed learning projects to group-learning experiences led by a professional, and they desire to control the pace and start/stop time.
Zemke R, Zemke S. 30 things we know for sure about adult learning. Training Magazine, June 1981. Reprinted with permission.
According to Minneapolis training experts Ron and Susan Zemke, adults learn for a purpose. They wrote, Adults tend to have a problem-centered orientation to learning. So when designing an education program they suggest you keep in mind the following.
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