The day I received my High School Diploma was one of the most important days of my life. It was the culmination of my previous years of hard work and sacrifice all manifesting to that pivotal moment when I was handed my diploma. I couldn’t help but think about some of my friends and fellow classmates that we’re unable to join me. Some unfortunate circumstances derailed them from their education path. This realization manifested into my passion for adult education.
There are no limitations to when someone can learn. The timing is always right, provided you are passionate about furthering your education and career. Adult education is not a new concept.
What is Adult Education
Adult education programs are generally continuing education programs for those older than standard high school or college age.
Most commonly this is an adult who is interested in earning a GED, become a specialist in a particular technical or business skill, continue or begin a degree program, or take a class to learn more about a topic they are interested in.
In a 1970 report, the National Institute of Adult Education (England and Wales) defined adult education as “any kind of education for people who are old enough to work, vote, fight and marry and who have completed the cycle of continuous education, [if any] commenced in childhood.”
Through my years of experience in providing adult education classes at Tellis Education Services in Birmingham, Alabama, I have learned that adult learning in the right environment brings in a set of qualities that make it appealing to adult learners.
We are talking about autonomy which gives the learners a sense of control, goal-oriented which appeals to the adults as they prefer to take on projects that bring them closer to their goals, and learning by experience as most adults prefer doing to listening.
Getting in-depth insights into adult education will help you understand how it can be beneficial to an individual.
Adults can learn successfully at any point in their lives
While some adults may be discouraged by the phrase: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
This does not hold water when it comes to adult education. While some adult functions may not be working as perfectly as those of younger people, there is still something they have over them that can make their learning experience worthwhile. Life experience.
They may be slow, have hearing and visual problems, but the experience they have will help them grasp things a lot easier than the younger students who are coming across a concept for the first time.
Other issues that may interfere with learning also have solutions. For instance, if it is visual limitations, adequate and proper lighting can be provided. If it is a problem with hearing, then a hearing aid can also be provided to facilitate learning.
Therefore, there is no limitation to learning at any point in life, provided you are willing to go for it.
Adult learning is characterized by autonomy
The urge to self-direct is one of the things that make adults reluctant with pursuing adult education. Research has shown that for a fact, 70% of adult learning is self-directed, and the teachers only contribute to 30%. This means that the learner will be the one to plan, execute, and evaluate their learning.
The autonomous nature of adult learning provides an environment where the adult learners can self-direct, and at the same to allow the opportunity for the educators to guide them through the learning activity.
This eliminates the self-direction anxiety in the learners that might interfere with their learning, and allow them to benefit from the wealth of knowledge the educators have.
The learning climate matters
For educators to deliver quality education to the learners, collaboration, synergy, and respect should be present. This allows the learners to share their perspective without being attacked or judged and learn from each other.
At Tellis Education Services, the educators are very clear about the learning climate they are trying to achieve, which helps in bringing the learners to the same page.
While searching “adult education near me”, you should keep in mind what you intend to achieve through adult education and the learning environment that works best for you, and see if the institution can provide you with those.