Our Expertise: Principles of Adult Learning
It’s no secret that adults and children function differently, but the average professional training program follows the same basic model as a fourth-grade math class: facts are presented by an instructor or in text, and students memorize and repeat them.
At Gillespie Associates, we believe in training that recognizes adults for what they are: complex, evolved, mature human beings. To accomplish this, we’ve studied the cognitive and psychological processes that underlie adult learning, and developed an approach that considers why, when, and how adults learn.
Adults already know a lot
Adult learners bring valuable context to everything they learn. They've lived full, interesting lives packed with unique experiences. Their perspectives are valid—and valuable. When you tap into a learner's history and relate new information to what they already know, it demystifies the learning process. Concepts become clearer and new skills are easier to grasp.
Adults learn to advance their lives
Adults learn because they see the process as a means to an end: the achievement of meaningful life goals. When learning opens the door to greater self-worth, the ability to make a difference in the world, and progress toward a brighter future, adults are inspired.
Adults learn by doing
Adults learn by solving problems, accomplishing tasks, and affecting the world around them. Above all, adults need to take an active role in the learning experience. Being in charge means being invested.
Adults learn when the time is right
We've seen it over and over again. Adults learn best in response to situations and circumstances as they unfold. Training that effectively recreates these real-life moments commands the learners’ full attention and leads to vastly better results.