This is my first blog. I have been wanting to learn about blogs, what they are, what they are used for, and how to install and use them. I guess now is the time to delve into the exciting world of whatever blogs are. Although, by now with all the research I have done and the fact that I installed my first blog all by myself I guess I can say that now I know what blogs are.
Okay, but let’s get on with the assignment. I had to create this blog for a school assignment on Instructional Design. So, here I am, ready to share with you what I have researched in the area of Instructional Design. What most interests me is adult education. Therefore, I will try to keep my blogs focused on the subject of adult education. Hmm, I hope I am not boring you just yet. Anyways, moving on.
Being a teacher is my third career change. I started my career life as an Electronics Engineer designing medical and avionic equipment. In my mid 30’s I was working as a Software Engineer and by my late 40’s I was working as an Adult Educator. My profession as an educator started as a substitute for a friend who taught night school. From there I was being solicited as a substitute for other instructors and eventually I was hired full time as a GED instructor for adult learners. In a nutshell, that is my background experience.
Throughout my years as an instructor, I noticed that adult learners have a different attitude towards education as opposed to teens or young adults. Adults are learning because they want to learn. They particularly learn quicker if they can apply the subject matter to their lives. The majority of the adult learners are autodidactical or like to be given a direction and left alone to plot their course of study. Additionally, adult learners are goal-oriented and typically they already have a clear defined goal in mind that is related to their life experience. This is in contrast to young adults who have minimal to no life experience and they cannot yet define a realistic or concrete goal that they would like to achieve.
It was not until I did some research for this topic that I found that the “father” of adult learning is Malcolm Knowles (1913-1997). In reading articles that reference Knowles and his work, I found that the adult learner characteristics that Knowles defines are spot on to the conclusions that I derived in my working experience with adult learners. The following are some links to blogs that talk about adult learners and their characteristics. It seems that there is a general consensus that adult learners can be classified as having certain characteristics.