January 12, 2007

Adult Learning Principles, Part 4: Relevancy



Adult learning principle #3:

Adults need relevancy in learning.


It's important to adults that they are learning something relevant and applicable to real life, whether it's work-related or personal. Here's how to make learning relevant to your audience.

* Identify learning objectives and ask participants to share their goals.

* Discuss and ask for sharing of real-world applications of your topic.

* Avoid giving a workshop or presentation that's too theoretical.

(Note: In the book "Teacher", Sylvia Ashton-Warner discusses relevancy in her work as a teacher with Maori children. She recalls trying to teach them to read out of European textbooks with images and language which mean nothing to them. When she starts working within their own language, culture and experiences to teach them reading, they blossom.

This book had a profound effect on me working in social services for many years, and I still find relevancy to be one of the major keys to learning for people of all ages. I highly recommend this book.)

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