Adults training Environment Effects on Outcome
Researchers and educationists would appreciate more knowledge concerning factors that may enhance or otherwise hinder deep involvement by students in contemporary learning processes (Jonassen & Land, 2012). The present society structure is leading to situations where adults and even older adults may continue to be expected to be productive within national labor forces. Such situational forecasts underscore the need to comprehensively understand the effects of learning environments on adult learning.
In educational ideology, a theory that illustrates the existent interactions between the environment and the learner is the practice theory. Given that 21st Century educational needs are unique in comparison with those common in the past, the social as well as physical aspects of learning environment are critical to appraising learning outcomes (Jonassen & Land, 2012). Therefore, constructivist ideals employed in the 20th Century, which considered the learner as active and referred to the learning environment as passive should be considered obsolete. The practice theory fully appreciates the learning environment and the learner as active (McCann, Graves & Dillon, 2012). This theory provides that learners are essentially transformed and subsequently molded by transactions, which also incorporate those of others and the physical environment. As such, this research paper seeks to identify those factors that promote desired or otherwise create barriers towards adult learning processes.
Soon after the 1970’s decade began, the renowned psychology scholar, Malcolm Knowles coined a new phrase, andragogy. Andragogy describes the prevalent differences manifested by the child learner and the adult learner (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014); (Salas, Tannenbaum, Kraiger & Smith-Jentsch, 2012). It focuses on the especially unique needs of the adult learner. As such, Malcolm Knowles postulated a total of six assumptions concerning adult learning. These include the need to become more knowledgeable, the concept of self, readiness to learn, previous experiences, learning orientation, and the motivation to commit to learning (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014).
As for the first assumption, one can point out that the adult learner already has the innate understanding as to why a need to learn a particular aspect is vital prior to engaging in an identified education processes (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). As such, educationists are expected to enable parents to progressively become cognizant of their inclination towards the need to know to comprehensively assist them value the learning process. The second assumption revolves around the issue of the adult learner’s concept of self. It is important to point out that adults are fully aware that they are responsible to no other individual concerning their life (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). As such, the adult learner requires educational environments where the facilitator works towards assisting them to develop hidden self-directing learning skills. Readiness to learn is the third assumption postulated by Knowles. It supports the fact that the adult learner is always ready and willing to learn new issues necessary towards effectively coping with contemporary real life conditions (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). The adult learner is well aware that what he or she seeks to learn can be applied to present situations. The implication is that training chiefly focused on the projected future tends to be irrelevant to the adult learner and as such, ineffective.
The fourth assumption is concerned with the role previous experiences witnessed by the adult learner (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). It is a well-accepted fact that the adult learner enters into educational activity bearing experiences that are profoundly different compared to those manifested by the youth. Individual differences, motivation, learning style, goals, and interests require that learning facilitators create individualized learning and teaching strategies. Therefore, the learning facilitator should critically understand that the adult learner is his or her own best teacher. The learning environment should therefore be one that allows the adult learner to incorporate earlier experiences via experiential techniques that can prove to be highly beneficial towards attaining desired learning outcomes (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). Such experiential techniques may include using discussions, problem solving activities, simulations, or case studies.
The fifth assumption as provided by Knowles appertains to orientations concerned with learning (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). Given that the adult learner is life centered regarding his or her innate orientation to learning, the primary goal is to acquire learning outcomes that allow getting solutions for day-to-day challenges. Facilitators should thus endeavor to create learning environments that relate learning instruction to contemporary life situations. The final assumption is centered on motivation (Knowles, Holton III & Swanson, 2014). The adult learner has been found to be positively responsive to internal motivators like self-esteem as opposed to external motivators like a higher salary. As such, the