Since the 1970’s, adult learning theory has offered a framework for educators and trainers. Typically, adult learners are defined as students aged 25 and older. Need for Community. Since the 1970’s, adult learning theory has offered a framework for educators and trainers. Malcolm S. Knowles (1973), a pioneer in adult learning, based his work on the concept of “andragogy” (the art andscience of how adults learn).He noted the following characteristics: Degree Completion Programs for the Adult Learner Alternative Bachelor and Graduate Degree Programs. The Adult Learner (Knowles) Theory: explains what a phenomenon is and how it works.It is a comprehensive, coherent and internally consistent system of ideas about a set of phenomena. 4. An adult learner may also worry about being the oldest person in a class and their ability to participate with younger students. Adult learning activities should be based on the learner's life experiences. Relevant. Adult learners are generally self-directed. 5 The average age of Pell Grant recipients is 26 and has been rising for the last 20 years. Adult learners are a diverse group – typically age 25 and older – with a wide range of educational and cultural backgrounds, adult responsibilities and job experiences. Adults are most interested in learning about subjects that relate to their jobs or lives today. They typically do not follow the traditional pattern of enrolling in postsecondary education immediately after high school. Creating an environment where all participants feel they have a valuable contribution can work to allay such concerns. They need empowerment and opportunities for nurturing self-direction. For ages 25-29, 54% are full-time students. Adults want to be treated as capable of self-direction, with time to work on their own or collaboratively. 6 Students over the age of 25 are the fastest-growing segment in higher education. They often have a psychological need for self-direction. 3. Colleges and universities listed below offer a variety of degree completion opportunities designed specifically to provide you with an opportunity to pursue a college education according to your individualized needs, goals, and time schedules. Many self-directed adult learners prefer a learning community with whom they can interact and discuss questions and issues. 34% of those over age 40 are full-time. Adults may come to class with varying levels of confidence. Andragogy (Adult Learning Theory) Andragogy, also known as adult learning theory, was proposed by Malcom Shepard Knowles in 1968. Adult learners often take responsibility for their own success or failure at learning. They make up nearly half of all students currently enrolled in colleges and universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. learning, the teacher of adults has a different job from the one who teaches children. 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