The Ultimate Educator: How adults learn and how you can apply to training

Discussion in 'Best Practices for Starting a Waste Min Program' started by Andy, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Andy

    Andy Administrator Waste Min Publisher 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    I read an excellent chapter from a book called the "The Ultimate Educator: Achieving Maximum Adult Learning Through Training and Instruction" by Christine Edmunds, Kip Lowe, Morna Murray, and Anne Seymour.

    Chapter 3: Ultimate Adult Learning:

    Its best value to me was in breaking down how adults learn, the principles of good adult education, and research on why we shouldn't expect adults to sit and learn as we did (sometimes) when we were children. Its one of those books where you want to read it a few times, and helps you to understand why that last training might have gone really well (or maybe not so well). Lot of different ideas to be tried in your next training.

    The book is loaded with examples, and a lot of breakdowns and steps to help build effective training... They have some interesting examples by Robert Pike, including "Pike's Laws of Adult Learning":

    Law 1: Adults are babies with big bodies. It is accepted that babies enjoy learning through
    experience, because every exploration is a new experience. As children grow, educators
    traditionally reduce the amount of learning through experience to the point that few courses in
    secondary and higher education devote significant time to experiential education. It is now
    recognized that adult learning is enhanced by hands-on experience that involves adults in the
    learning process. In addition, adults bring a wealth of experience that must be acknowledged
    and respected in the training setting.

    Law 2: People do not argue with their own data. Succinctly put, people are more likely to
    believe something fervently if they arrive at the idea themselves. Thus, when training adults,
    presenting structured activities that generate the students’ ideas, concepts, or techniques will
    facilitate learning more effectively than simply giving adults information to remember.

    Law 3: Learning is directly proportional to the amount of fun you are having. Humor is an
    important tool for coping with stress and anxiety, and can be effective in promoting a
    comfortable learning environment. If you are involved in the learning process and understand
    how it will enable you to do your job or other chosen task better, you can experience the sheer
    joy of learning.

    Law 4: Learning has not taken place until behavior has changed. It is not what you know,
    but what you do that counts. The ability to apply new material is a good measure of whether
    learning has taken place. Experiences that provide an opportunity for successfully practicing a
    new skill will increase the likelihood of retention and on-the-job application.

    Great read, and a lot to learn that can help your next training.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013