Define: If we take a look at Piaget's four stages we see the staggering similarities adult learning and children (youth) learning share. (High Scope, 2005) We know that children learn from being in the classroom. However, as children become adults they learn differently, and the focus is on them and no longer teachers.
Adults tend to learn best when:
They are not told what to do, there is freedom involved, and able to learn in their own way
Learning is based on real life experiences not by simply learning from textbooks
They want to learn at this period of time in their life
The learning process is not boring, it makes sense and it is something they want to learn
Apply: Adult learning can be applied to community development work in practical ways. When working as a community organizer it is important that the experiences and interactions are based in some way by adults. Adults can be seen as role models for youth and their participation helps add motivation to participate, and helps make youth feel more comfortable getting involved.
Adapt: In everyday life we can apply adult learning. Children are being exposed to the way adults see and view the world. In school, teachers are seen as the primary ones who teach children and expand their knowledge. However, parents simply can be the teachers of life for their children. By simply talking to their children about the world, they can instill new knowledge that was not there before. It is important especially in the classroom, teachers take a new approach. The teacher allows and accepts the process of learning from their classmates. Adult learning is a mutual relationship that needs to be treated with the upmost respect. It is a way of looking at learning in a more sensible way by merely learning from one another.