The teacher of adults has a different job from the one who teaches children. For the best results it's important to understand and practice five principles espoused by Malcolm Knowles, a pioneer in the study of adult learning in case you're teaching adult students. Most adult students are in your classroom because they want to be. Because some have continuing educational requirements, they are there to keep a certificate current, but most are there because they’ve chosen to learn something new. Although about why each thing you teach them is an important part of the learning, this principle is not about why your students are in your classroom. My teacher and neighbor, Marilyn, helped me understand by including why when I learned to make pickles. It is important to soak the cucumbers in ice water over night. This helps make the pickles crisp. They won’t bounce against each other and break in case you put a towel under the jars in the canner.  It’s important to fill each at least halfway with water, AND fill the canner they’re sitting in with water when sterilizing the jars. Too little water and the towel mentioned in the previous bullet will catch on fire. You know this kind of information comes from experience.

Principles for teacher of adult

Visual earners rely on pictures. They love graphs, diagrams, and illustrations. “Show me,” is their motto. They often sit in the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions and to watch you, the teacher. They want to know what the subject looks like. You can best communicate with them by providing handouts, writing on the white board, and using phrases like, “Do you see how this works?” Auditory learners listen carefully to all sounds associated with the learning. “Tell me,” is their motto. They will pay close attention to the sound of your voice and all of its subtle messages, and they will actively participate in discussions. Kinesthetic learners need to physically do something to understand it. Their motto is “Let me do it.” They trust their feelings and emotions about what they’re learning and how you’re teaching it. They want to actually touch what they’re learning. They are the ones who will get up and help you with role playing. Allowing them to practice what they’re learning, and using phrases like, “How do you feel about that, you can best communicate with them by involving volunteers. Most people use all three styles while they’re learning, and of course, this is logical since we all have five senses, barring any disabilities, but one style almost always is preferred. Experience can take many forms. Any activity that gets your students involved makes the learning experiential. Especially activities that involve getting up and moving about – they also keep people energized. The other aspect of this principle is honoring the life experiences your students bring to the classroom. Be sure to tap into that wealth of wisdom whenever it’s appropriate.