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According to Jaffee (2000), learning can be defined as the process, act, or experience of acquiring skills or knowledge. On the other hand, memory can be defined as the mental ability to store, retrieve, and act on the acquired knowledge. Through learning an individual can be able to advance from a novice to an expert as well as attain new knowledge and powers. Learning fortifies the brain by establishing new pathways and enhances connections that an individual relies on when they want to acquire more.
Brockett & Hiemstra (1991) define Adult Learning Theory as a set of ideas regarding the way adults acquire new information or skills. Adults should be informed the reason to why they should acquire more skills and knowledge. They spend a substantial amount of energy and time trying to find out the benefits of what they want to learn before they invest both money and time in those particular areas. It is very hard to convince adults on what will be good for them when it comes to education. This is because they think autonomously and therefore requiring understanding the consequences of every step taken pertaining to committing oneself in a particular activity.
Any given kind of training should be grounded on applicable needs of the intended individual. The information delivered during training, for instance the lesson plans, should as well include the reasons for learning. It is important that the benefits of learning are clearly shown. The learning activities should be based about actual work experiences.
Adults feel so much motivated to be self-guiding. The term adult can be defined from psychological point of view as one who has attained self-concept of becoming accountable for arriving at his or her own life determinations and living with the aftermaths. Adults are so much determined in making sure they are seen by others as having the capability to take responsibility on their own. Trainers more often design situation concerning training that put adults back in their childhood experiences when they are told what to learn, where they should be in the period of learning, the time when they should learn, and how they should learn. Self-directed kind of learning enables the learner to be in charge of when to acquire the content produced by the trainer and much more regarding the interaction with trainers. For these experienced learners, their system of training should be incorporated with search and discovery since they think autonomously (Merriam & Brockett, 2007).
Through Jaffee (2000), adults are seen as having a larger volume and an excellent quality of experience as compared to youth. It is true that adults have a wide experience concerning many issues in human society and therefore bring into the learning situation an environment full of experience that makes a rich resource. Adults have extremely broad base of experience and this enables them attach a variety of new skills and ideas hence arriving at very richer meanings. When the relationship between the old and new skills and ideas, are more explicit, the individuals attain a deeper and more permanent learning. Adults are seen to be more experienced and this experience is the main source of self identity. In case the adult's experience is not used in a training experience, the individual adults may feel rejected.
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Training activities should be designed in away that they can reflect the real work the learners carry out. It is very important to provide those activities that encourage learners to make out the relationship between the theoretical views of the training and their own experiences. Once the adults experience in their life situations, a need to know in order to do more effectively and satisfying, they extremely become ready to learn. Greatest blunders have been committed concerning training when individuals are forced into training activities before they realize a need for them. Adults must perceive a need for training before the learning process (Merriam & Brockett, 2007).
When training is provided very close to the time there is need to use it, the learners will grasp the theoretical concepts permanently since they will be relating theory they have acquired and practical examples in the working place. In the cases where information is dumped on learners, the information will be of no use in the coming days because the learners can easily forget them just after they apply the information in answering examination questions.
For adult education individuals come into a learning experience that has got a task-centered orientation to learning. This is very contrary to the youth conditioned schools in which the learning experience is that of subject-oriented to learning as they focus on the content delivered in class for the purpose of passing examinations. Because of work and life experiences, adults acquire a problem-centered or a task-centered orientation to learning. The content that is acquired this can stick in the memories of individuals and therefore can be of use to them in the future (Jaffee, 2000).
It is very necessary for the trainers to design the training activities that enable learners to solve problems or perform tasks which are very close to those they came across back on the job. At times large amounts of information are used to support the problem solving actions; in this case this information is presented as reference material. The learners are taught on how to use the information attained to successfully to accomplished the problem solving activities.
Adults are generally encouraged to learn by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. By Jaffee (2000), adult learners are seen to respond bonuses and promotions until the point is reached when they satisfied fully, and this are the extrinsic motivators. But the most persistent and persuasive motivators are the intrinsic motivators which constitute of power, achievement, self-esteem, and broadened responsibilities. Adults can only get motivated to learn the content they are given if they recognize a need to learn. Learning activities are supposed to clearly reveal to the learner where they will benefit in their occupation. High quality training is based on the concept of nurturing the intrinsic motivators.
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