The IDEA of Learning™ and Adult Learning

There are important considerations in Adult Learning. The IDEA of Learning™ fully embraces these considerations, along with a robust blend of established, fresh and innovative approaches to Learning.

Adult learners are self-directed and autonomous - They actively engage in the learning process, make choices relevant to their learning needs and goals, and direct their learning goals with the guidance of their mentors, coaches and respected peers. They must be able to assess their own abilities and approaches to discover any inadequacies or limitations for themselves.

Adult learners utilize knowledge & life experience - It's important for adults to connect their past experiences and previously gained knowledge with their current experiences, knowledge and circumstances.

Adult learners value relevancy - Adult motivation to learn increases when the relevance of the learning experience connects with their real-life situations and specific needs. If it is clear that the learning experience will directly contribute to achieving their personal learning needs and goals, they will be inspired and motivated to engage and change.

Adult learners focus on practicality - Adult learners need to be able to convert ideas to practical use.

Adult learners thrive in collaborative environments - They gain more value from learning together with others in a positive, encouraging, and challenging environment.

Adult learners must be integral to the development of their learning experience. - Getting feedback from adult learners is vital in gaining their trust and commitment to the learning process.

Adults learners need the opportunity to absorb information, rather than memorize it. - Learning activities such as simulations allow adult learners to immerse themselves into specific activities that enable them to store the information in their long term memory through repetition and experience.

Adult learners tend to be less open-minded and therefore more resistant to change. - Maturity and profound life experiences often lead to some rigidity. Rigidity is an enemy of learning. It's crucial adult learners understand the “why” behind change.

Adult learners learn by choice. - They cannot be coerced to change. They must be inspired to change.

Adult learners need to feel their perspectives matter. - The learning process is made easier when their perspectives of their own experience are accepted as valid, acknowledged as an essential aspect influencing change, and respected as a potential resource for learning.

Adults experience anxiety and ambivalence in their orientation to learning. - While the learning environment should be stimulating, stress acts as a major block to learning.

Adult Learners need space to make mistakes and experiment. - Their learning experience should not demand finalized, correct answers and closure. They need a tolerance for uncertainty, inconsistency, and diversity. They should be encouraged to ask questions, be skeptical, and challenge assumptions.

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