Adult Learners

Adults are autonomous and self-directed. Their teachers must actively involve them in the learning process and serve as facilitators rather than fact generators. Teachers must get participants’ perspectives on the topics to cover and let them work on projects that reflect their interests. They should also allow participants responsibility for presentations and group leadership and show participants how the class will help them reach their goals.
Adults have accumulates a foundation of life experiences and knowledge. Teachers need to connect learning to that knowledge/experience base by encouraging participants to share relevant experience/knowledge.
Adults are goal-oriented. They appreciate an educational program that is organized and has clearly defined elements. Instructors must show adult learners how the class relates to their goals early in the class.
Adults are relevancy-oriented. Learning has to be applicable to their work or other responsibilities to be of value to them. Instructors must identify objectives before the course begins and relate theories and concepts to a setting familiar to participants.
Adults are practical. They may not be interested in knowledge for knowledge’s sake but rather focus on what is most useful to them.
Adults, as with all learners, must be shown respect. Instructors should acknowledge the abundance of experiences and knowledge participants bring to the classroom.

Were you surprised at the adult learning principles? Why or why not? Justify your choice with content from the chapter and your experiences.