Characteristics of Adult Learners


  1. Adult learners have a more problem centered approach to learning rather than subject centered and they want to apply their learning directly and immediately to their situations.
  2. Adult learners are self-directed in their learning and take the lead in defining their needs, goals, learning methods, and evaluation.
  3. Adult learners have a wealth of knowledge and their experiences are valid and in need of respect.
  4. Adults tend to be selective learners and prefer to focus on learning something meaningful and useful, rather than something uninteresting or without application to their situation

This publication, prepared by Michelle Schwartz from The Learning & Teaching Office at Reyerson University, is a helpful resource for planning teaching sessions and engaging adult learners based on their unique characteristics, which are highlighted here.


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