Academic journal article Adult Learning

A Potpourri of Approaches to Adult Learning. (President's Podium)

Academic journal article Adult Learning

A Potpourri of Approaches to Adult Learning. (President's Podium)

Article excerpt

If someone were to hold my fingers to the fire and ask for one characteristic that defines the teaching of adults, I would have to say that it is the need for the adult educator to have a variety of ways to teach the same material. We all ascribe to the belief that learning styles are a real learning phenomenon. Learning styles, although not being a barrier to learning, definitely are an enhancement to learning. The ability of an adult educator (or any educator) to approach a topic or skill from multiple directions, using multiple learning strategies, is what sets the good educators apart from the superlative educators.

Dr. Lee Schulman, a teacher educator from California, has amassed an impressive body of research on what makes a good teacher. One of the concepts that he professes is Multiple Treatment Interactions. This is a fancy phrase for being able to approach a topic from a variety of alternative directions so that a learner will be able to "get it". Central to this concept is the notion that the educator needs to know and understand the material well before he or she can apply these Multiple Treatment Interactions.

I recall that in my early years as a junior faculty member, being sentenced by my chair to teach an Introduction to Education course for freshman students. A topic of discussion in one of the classes was the characteristics of good teachers. …

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