Adult Learning Myths
- Adult learning is inherently joyful
- Adults are innately self-directed learners
- Good educational practice always meets the needs articulated by learners themselves
- There is a uniquely adult learning process as well as a uniquely adult form of practice.
I'm not sure where many of the theoreticians were while developing their adult learning (andragogical) theories. In their world adults are always motivated learners. I'm not unusual but I can easily point to training sessions where learners did not come motivated. In fact, changing learner attitudes was what the first part of the training attempt.
Just as I can point to lack on joy and motivation, I can point to adult learners that preferred to be guided. I can also point to situations where the instruction did not meet the initial needs articulated by the learners because the instruction itself changed the learner's and their stated needs.
The point is that we should take the above myths are possibly true but not with the certainty many claim. If you allow for flexibility, or ambiguity you will be better prepared for the eventualities you might encounter.