Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Effective Ways of Motivating Adults for Learning in Professional Field

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Effective Ways of Motivating Adults for Learning in Professional Field

Article excerpt

Abstract

The article highlights the problem of fostering motivation for professional development in adult learners. It describes the methodology of autonomy-supportive educational practices applicable to designing innovative competence-oriented ERR-based in-service training programs at university. It presents the ways of cognitive and emotional support in the individual and collective zone of proximal development of in-service training participants. The aim of the study also is to identify key areas of development programs of additional professional education, examines the experience of UNN on a number of programs to draw conclusions about the future development of other related, those described in the article directions and retraining programs and the forecast potential outcomes.

Keywords: adult education, in-service training, motivation, self-determination theory, autonomy, competence, relatedness, communication, active methods, scaffolding strategies

1. Introduction

In the last decades adult learning has become one of the most important elements of lifelong learning, in which professional competence-oriented development plays an essential role. It brings forward a growing demand in adult educators as the leading agents of this change. Accordingly, professional development of adult educators, able to manage their own development as well as the development of those whom they mentor tends to turn into the key component of competence-oriented in-service training for university faculty. Promoting and maintaining volitional motivation of adult learners in autonomy-supportive environment stimulates their growth and increases the efficiency of education.

In this context the motivational theory of self-determination (Ryan & Deci, 2012a) serves the basis for development of more efficient in-service training programs at university. Self-determination theory assumes that propensity to learn and develop is innate and expresses itself through proactive and future oriented behaviors. Such behaviors are promoted by three types of motivation: intrinsic, integrated and identified (Ryan & Deci, 2012b). Extensive research has proved that behaviors resulting from these three forms of motivation vary in the level of self-determination. Intrinsic motivation has the most positive impact on cognitive, behavioral, and emotional aspects of learning, while identified motivation - the least positive (Ryan & Deci, 2013a). Evidence suggests that this effect decreases with the degree of extrinsic determination when external controls introduced into the learning environment affect the psychological processes connected with high-quality learning (Ryan & Deci, 2013b; Wilkesmann & Schmid, 2014).

Speculating about double dimension of learner's self-direction in which (within a socio-cognitive perspective) self-determined motivation and self-regulations function in interdependent relationship, A. Jézégou emphasizes that a high level of initial motivation is necessary to involve oneself in an activity to achieve a personal goal, while self-regulation is necessary for other aspects of this initial activity. Self-regulation processes are important for maintaining this motivation during the activity. This motivation is both the source and consequence of this process (Jézégou, 2012).

As an urge to satisfy basic psychological needs for autonomy (feeling of being the origin of one's own behaviors), competence (feeling effective), and relatedness (feeling understood and cared for by others) is at the core of self-directed motivation, creating conditions supporting learners' experiences in autonomy, competence and relatedness will foster students' active engagement in learning (Vansteenkiste, Niemiec, & Soenens, 2010).

We also used Albert Bandura's competence staircase as a developmental approach to leading adult learners from subconscious incompetence through supraliminal incompetence and subconscious competence to, finally, supraliminal competence in the course of in-service training (Rodikov, 2010). …

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