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Adult education

Adult education is the practice of teaching and educating adults. This is often done in the workplace, or through 'extension' or 'continuing education' courses at secondary schools, or at a College or University. The practice is also often referred to as 'Training and Development'. It has also been referred to as Androgogy (to distinguish it from Pedagogy).

Educating Adults differs from educating children in several ways. One of the most important differences is that adults have accumulated knowledge and experience which can either add value to a learning experience or hinder it. Many of us recognize that it is often easier to learn something new than to 'unlearn' something you already know.

Another important difference is that adults frequently must apply their knowledge in some practical fashion in order to learn; there must be a goal and a reasonable expectation that the new knowledge will help them further the goal.

Adults are self-directed learners. Instead of following the instructor, they often have their own idea about what they need to learn, when and how they need to learn it.

Adults often engage in learning as a response to some change in their environment - a life event or a change of job. Often they are fearful of learning and many believe that they can't learn.



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