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Misconceptions of Adult Learning Garrison Schmitt Post University EDU643: Teaching the Adult Learner.

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Presentation on theme: "Misconceptions of Adult Learning Garrison Schmitt Post University EDU643: Teaching the Adult Learner."— Presentation transcript:

1 Misconceptions of Adult Learning Garrison Schmitt Post University EDU643: Teaching the Adult Learner

2 First Misconception: Individual vs. Collaboration Misconception: ▫Adult learners receives greater benefit in individual learning than through community and interdependence Image courtesy of:

3 Individual vs. Collaboration New Understanding: ▫Team building has emerged as one of the most important group phenomenon for adult learners today (Glassop, 2012). Reinforcing Theory: ▫In other cultures, a person becoming independent without being interdependent is considered immature or self-centered, where collectivism and collaboration is taught from childhood (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007)

4 Terry (2006): ▫Adult literacy education program to understand the relationships between instructors and peers  Research participants noted the powerful impact that these relationships had on the nature of the classroom climate and on the results of the learning process  Participants described reciprocal staff-learner relations based on mutual trust and respect and positive inter-learner relations Individual vs. Collaboration

5 Fachantidis et al. (2012): ▫Adults participated in cultural studies through activities with robotic constructions  10/25 participants liked the cooperation/collaboration between the team members and the team-building spirit  Majority of the participants (17/25) stated that they worked together in order to complete the project goals  The combination of such a technology with cultural activities can offer a context not only suitable for learning, but also for team building Individual vs. Collaboration

6 Proposed Example: ▫Similar to Phan (2011) study  Team building manifested in a series of ropes courses and team building activities  Groups of adults from all social circles will all experience benefits on an emotional, physical, mental, and psychological level  Interdependency between adults has marked improvements on productivity, positivity, collaboration, mutual trust, and perceived support

7 Second Misconception: Self-Directed Learning Misconception: ▫Role of instructor is passive ▫Little interaction between educator and student Image courtesy of:

8 Self-Directed Learning New Understanding: ▫SDL is a process in which individuals take the initiative, diagnose learning needs, formulate learning goals, identify resources for learning, implement appropriate learning strategies, and evaluate learning outcomes (Smith, 2014) Reinforcing Theory: ▫Knowles’ assumption of andragogy: “As a person matures, his or her self-concept moves from that of a dependent personality towards one of a self-directing human being” (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 84)

9 Smith (2014): ▫SDL requires a paradigm shift away from teacher- centric approaches to learning ▫Role of the teacher becomes more of a consultant, tutor, listener, catalyst, or partner in learning ▫The teacher and student are engaged in a process of mutual inquiry rather than transmitting specific knowledge ▫Adult self-directed learners engage in behaviors and characteristics that allow them to think independently, take responsibility for one’s learning, and self-start tasks ▫Educators set realistic limits and teach students how to make solid decisions about their learning processes Self-Directed Learning

10 Proposed Example: ▫Political Science Assignment - design the organizational structure of the student’s ideal town/city  Educator designs assignment that offers learners ability to be self-observant, goal oriented, self- rewarding, and self-critiquing  Enable students to gain confidence and develop self- leadership  Provide assistance to individuals or groups of learners in locating resources, but allow for individualization

11 Third Misconception: The Nature of Intelligence Misconception: ▫The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a certain method of determining the measure of intelligence for adult learners Image courtesy of:

12 The Nature of Intelligence New Understanding: ▫IQ value alone does not offer enough to describe what “intelligence” is (Ziegler, Ziegler, & Stoeger, 2012) Reinforcing Theory: ▫Three challenges to traditional nature of intelligence: (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007)  Focus of intelligence has traditionally been on the individual as measured by psychometric tests  “Fight” for finding the one model or theory that could be correct regarding intelligence  Majority of methods of discussing intelligence do not take into account the “real-world” or “everyday” intelligence

13 Ziegler, Ziegler, & Stoeger (2012): ▫IQ is just a single number that gives no indication of the kinds of focused support that should be undertaken for students who receive low scores ▫Enormous IQ variation between the age of 6 and 18  IQ increased by at least 15 points for 58% of the children between school entry and adulthood in the study population  IQ increased by at least 20 points for one third of the children ▫IQ shows too much instability for being a good predictor of achievement excellence The Nature of Intelligence

14 Proposed Example: ▫Sternberg’s practical intelligence model (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007)  Problems in everyday life often have little to do with the knowledge and skills acquired through formal education  Three main subtheories: mental mechanisms of intelligence, the experience of the learner, and real- world context  Intelligence is not always relative for all groups of people

15 References Glassop, L. (2002). The organizational benefit of teams. Human Relations, 55(2), 225-249. Fachantidis, N., Paraskevi, A., & Tosiou, D. (2012). Robots facilitate team building at adults’ learning groups for cultural studies. International Conference on Robotics in Education. Prague, Czech Republic. Merriam, S.B., Caffarella, R.S., & Baumgartner, L.M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide. (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Phan, J. (2011). The impact of therapeutic recreation through ropes courses and team building activities. Digital Commons at Cal Poly, 1-39. Smith, T. (2014). Self-Directed Learning. Self-Directed Learning -- Research Starters Education, 1. Terry, M. (2006). The importance of interpersonal relations in adult literacy programs. Educational Research Quarterly, 30(2), 30-43. Ziegler, A., & Stoeger, H. (2012). Shortcomings of the IQ-based construct of underachievement. Roeper Review, 34(2), 123-132.

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