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Principles of adult learning

Adult learning is a process in which adults participate in systematic and continuous self-education activities in order to develop new types of information, skills, attitudes, or values, as opposed to child education. In fact, adult learning as a term for itself – Andragogy – a term coined by the German teacher Alexander Kapp. Principles of adult learning include self-direction, transformation, experience, mentorship, mental orientation, motivation, and readiness to learn.

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Adult learning is simply defined as a circumstance in which adults seek to further their education. This can be done in a formal context such as a university, a trade school, or an apprenticeship. Adults who merely wish to learn a talent and pursue schooling in order to learn that skill can also do so. Adult learning is a topic of research for many professionals since there are many ways and theories about how to properly educate adults. Because children and adults learn in very different ways, new strategies must be employed to make learning more effective for adults.

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Malcolm Knowles, who was an adult educator and was famous for the adoption of the theory of andragogy had put out 6 principles of adult learning, namely – 

  • Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
  • Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences
  • Adults are goal-oriented
  • Adults are relevancy oriented
  • Adults are practical
  • Adult learners like to be respected

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