Adults are motivated entirely different in the way they learn. Adults are motivated to learn for various reasons such as professional development, potential advancement at work or simply continuing to improve ones lives, as one gets older. However, it is but practical to consider the ideas on how adults are motivated to learn, what principles of learning works, so that adult educators could likewise respond appropriately. The participatory worldview that author Lyle Yorks (2005) describes draws heavily on the theory and practice in adult learning and action research.
This creates a kind of social space in organization that is important in the facilitation of a practice-based example. Making it participative can always facilitate learning. Andragogy is defined as the art and science of helping adults learn. The term can also mean an alternative to pedagogy or what is known as learner-focused education for everyone. The model of andragogy consists of five assumptions, which must be considered and addressed, in formal learning.
These are (1) an independent self-concept and who can direct his or her own learning, (2) has accumulated a reservoir of life experiences that is a rich resource for learning, (3) has learning needs closely related to changing social roles, and (5) is motivated to learn by internal rather than external factors (Merriam, 2001, p. 5). Developments in technology and the introduction of computers into the learning environment have changed the manner of learning inside the classroom. Traditionally, lessons are delivered using teacher-centered strategies.
However, as technology-driven initiatives are introduced, there is a gradual shift into employing student-centered learning strategies. Constructivist theorists believe that these are essential to student-centered learning environment. a) centrality of the learner in defining meaning, (b) importance of situated, authentic contexts, and (c) negotiation and interpretation of personal beliefs and multiple perspectives, (d) importance of prior learner experiences in meaning construction, and (e) use of technology to scaffold higher mental processes (Land & Hannafin, 2000, pp. 1-12). Adult educators must aim at identifying the challenges that working students face while undertaking continuing education. This is important particularly to educators that design learning modules for distance education. Adult educators must also realize the value of technology-driven education. Almost all the researches reviewed would agree that computer-based instructions improved the performance of the students, improved levels of reasoning and problem solving, improved students’ attitudes toward learning and developed more confidence.
The teachers on the other hand have improved teaching strategies and practices. Using information technology to support the lessons would encourage student-centered learning. The student is the center of the learning environment. Their needs, opinions, background were considered and integrated into the learning environment. Student-centered learning derives its foundations from constructivist learning theories and transformational experiential learning models. Essential to student-centered approaches is student ownership of their goals and activities.
Since adult learners are able to make decisions concerning their learning needs and goals, the work becomes more meaningful and “encourages depth of understanding and an intrinsic motivational orientation” (Pedersen & Williams, 2004, p. 283-306). According to Judith Calder, there will be problems when one uses the social survey research techniques since it uses pre-arranged categories in organizing responses, which can be limiting on the range of experiences that are recorded (Calder, 1993, p. 12). Learning theory is useful in understanding adult learning and how adult educators must fulfill their role as facilitator of adult learning.
The theory provides an explanation on how the world is better understood and in what ways individuals are able to change it for the better. Providing renewed hope in the face of adversities and depressing events that may otherwise cause individuals to descend into the negative behavior. Brookfield (2005) addressed the third aspect of adult learning as transformative. Adult learners are exposed to learning in the workplace. Within the workplace, adult workers learn to be critical in analyzing their assumptions regarding the structure business model before reaching a decision that may affect a company’s performance.
They view this in conjunction with market realities before arriving at decision that may make or break the company. For society in general, this suggest that lifelong learning is obtained as the main strategy in ensuring the future abundance of countries such as the UK since it ensures its vision to build a new culture of learning (Boshier, 2006, p. 11). This new culture of learning can involve online learning which is very useful in the adult learning process. It is important to help students become technically savvy in our classrooms.
What people know about online learners may not be properly addressed through one’s teaching so that educators need to collaborate so that they can share contemporary researches on the subject (Martinez, 2010, p. 353). In Conclusion, motivation theories formed the cornerstone of adult learning. Indeed, technology is here to stay and it has become part of the education environment. Technology provides a surrounding where formerly perceived as an unfair action and access problems are effectively removed. With the use of technology in the delivery of lessons, the teacher has made education more accessible to people who are willing to learn.