Adult Education

Effective adult education involves understanding how adults learn best. Adult learning theory (androgyny) holds a set of assumptions about how adults learn and emphasizes the value of the process of learning. It uses approaches to learning that are problem-based and collaborative rather than simply delivering content and also emphasizes more equality between the teacher and learner.

McKinley applies the six principles of adult learning outlined below:

1. Adults are internally motivated and self-directed

Adult learners resist learning when they feel others are imposing information, ideas or actions on them. Our role is to facilitate a students' movement toward more self-directed and responsible learning as well as to foster the student's internal motivation to learn.

2. Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences

Adults like to be given opportunity to use their existing foundation of knowledge and experiences gained from life experience, and apply it to their new learning experiences. We assist them to draw on those experiences when problem-solving, reflecting and applying reasoning processes.

3. Adults are goal oriented

Adult students become ready to learn when "they experience a need to learn it in order to cope more satisfyingly with real-life tasks or problems".  We facilitate a student's readiness for problem-based learning and increase the student's awareness of the need for the knowledge or skill presented

4. Adults are relevancy oriented

Adult learners want to know the relevance of what they are learning to what they want to achieve. One way to help students see the value of their observations and practical experiences is to ask them what they expect to learn prior to the experience, on what they learn after the experience, and how they might apply what they learn in the future.

5. Adults are practical

Through practical experiences, interacting with real clients and their real life situations, students move from classroom and textbook mode to hands-on problem solving where they can recognize first-hand how what they are learning applies to life and the work context.

6. Adult learners like to be respected

We demonstrate respect by: taking interest, acknowledging the wealth of experiences that the student brings to the placement and encouraging expression of ideas, reasoning and feedback at every opportunity.