Teaching Adults

Teaching Adults

Teaching Adults

Teaching Adults


"I recommend this book to teachers of any experience.... It is an easy book to read and the illustrations/diagrams make the points meaningful. In addition, the book has a comprehensive bibliopraphy, for those who wish to read more about any topic in the book." National Association for Staff Development in the Post 16 sector

How can we make our teaching of adults more effective?

In the 3rd edition of this bestselling text, Alan Rogers draws upon a range of recent work on adult lifelong learning to address this key question, by looking at what is distinctive about adult learning and teaching. Based on nearly 40 years of practical experience in a variety of contexts in the UK and overseas, the book discusses what it is that makes helping adults to learn different from teaching younger students. It is concerned with both basic principles and useful hints for teachers and, as such, it will be of value to teachers and programme organisers, to students on adult education courses, to policy makers and to administrators. The emphasis throughout is on the practice of teaching through greater understanding of what it is that we are doing - and the author speaks with involvement and from experience.

There is much that is new in this revised edition. It provides a comprehensive and up to date handbook for students and practitioners with important insights into contemporary understandings of how adults learn both formally and informally, and how they can be helped to learn. Its overall theme - that of making the natural and largely subconscious learning which all adults do both more conscious and more effective - resonates with current thinking and has received much support from the growth of interest in adult learning outside formal learning situations. An invaluable resource for lecturers and trainers, this book will also appeal to those such as health visitors and clergy who are primarily engaged in other activities.


It has on occasion been sugsested that the most important factor which adults bring to their learning is their experience. In this chapter, I suggest that equally important are the expectations and the agendas which adult student learners bring and that these are in large part created by the information about the learning programme which we supply to the prospective participants.

Teaching adults: a world of difference

People engage in teaching adults in many different contexts and for many different purposes.

Sometimes the context is formal, within the walls of one of our educational institutions. At other times the teaching takes place through an organisation specifically set up to help adults learn like an industrial training agency or professional body. Or again it may be within one of a host of informal situations: community and voluntary associations, social movements and women's groups, sports agencies, churches, museums and libraries, or among members of the rescue and caring professions.

The formats and settings are many. People teach adults formally or informally in prisons and church halls, in colleges and private houses, in sports and leisure centres and in factories, in shops and offices, in community buildings and military bases, in schools and specialist adult education centres, in health clinics and on university campuses, in training centres and temporary caravans. They teach during the day, in the evening, at weekends and while on holiday. They can teach face to face or by distance learning methods.

Sometimes the process is a direct one — a structured course on management or computers, or retraining in new techniques of construction, an extension course for farmers, a woodwork class or church confirmation group, a diploma or degree programme. Sometimes it is less direct — a residents' group fighting a planning proposal, a choir rehearsing, a health group striving to use a controlled diet, a group of villagers setting up a cooperative, a drama group putting on a performance.

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