Wednesday, 18 June 2014

This week I was asked why I want to teach adults and it has led me to do some thinking about all that I have learned since I have entered my Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. Why indeed!

I think the greatest factor is that I feel I can bring things to life and engage learners in the subject matter. When I first began training people (through the election process in my local electoral district) I thought of myself as a performer. Yes - I was "the Sage on the Stage" and here we are almost a year into the diploma program and I realize that while I do have a "performance" side - I also have an ability to engage other adults and present material and allow them to make their own decisions. I realize now that the better teaching scenario is to "Guide on the Side" by allowing adults to take responsibility for their learning and to assist them as they see fit. These characteristics are what make teaching adults an enjoyable experience for me.

Characteristics of the Adult Learner

Adults are a pleasure to teach as they are generally motivated and eager to be in a classroom setting. I enjoy the interactions they provide and the input to the curriculum that they provide from their own life experiences. In particular I love that moment when a student has an "a-ha" moment and the concept cements itself in their own mind or body.

The word to describe adult learning is Andragogy. Quite a coincidence that this is the majority of my name? I think not! It is quite obvious that I should be involved in this experience.