Chapter 5 Leading Adult Learners: Preparing Future Leaders and Professional Development of Those They Lead Chapter Outline • • • • • • • • • • • • Learners of All Ages Adult Learning Theories Behaviorism Cognitive Constructivism Social Constructivism Humanism Motivation Intelligence Adult Learning and Pedagogy Engaging Adult Learners Mentoring Adult Learners Teaching and Leading Adult Learners Chapter Questions • What can leaders do to acknowledge the adult learner’s motivation and interests? • How can leaders learn to mentor the adult learner? • How can leaders give professional development choices in planning training activities for optimal learning experiences? Chapter Questions, con’t • How can leaders provide problem-centered activities for professional training activities? • How can leaders lead using different approaches and strategies? Attention And Motivation …the degree with which the learner approaches learning—and how we utilize these are critical to understanding how we approach classroom experiences for our learners. If we know how a learner approaches the acquisition of knowledge, then we can arrange classroom strategies that will enhance his or her learning. Adult Learning Theories • • • • • • • Behaviorism Cognitive Constructivism Social Constructivism Humanism Motivation Intelligence Adult Learning and Pedagogy Adult Learning and Pedagogy Knowles (1990) identified the following principles: • Adults need to participate: plan and evaluate their instruction. • Experiential learning activities should be provided. • Topics must be relevant to their jobs or personal life. Learning for adults should be problem centered versus content oriented. Engaging Adult Learners How we lead the adult learner is greatly impacted by knowledge of both the context and the learner him- or herself. Contextual understanding by the educational leader is as critical as the transfer of knowledge and how it is transferred through strategies and activities. Mentoring Adult Learners Mentoring, the most complete human skill to acquire; teaching; coaching; facilitating; and other such similar descriptors describe a process for adult learning. Characteristics of Mentoring (1)Adults are motivated to learn as they develop needs and interests that learning will satisfy. (2) Adult orientation to learning is life or work centered. (3) Experience is the richest resource for adult learning. (4) Adults have a deep need to be self-directing. (5) Individual differences among adult learners vary with age, gender, culture, language, and experience. Teaching and Leading Adult Learners Great teaching is defined by the ability to inspire learners. Motivate the learner and you will grab his or her attention. Keeping a learner’s attention is more difficult. Educational leaders need many strategies at their fingertips to keep others’ attention. Key Principles for Leaders to Know 1. Acknowledge the adult learner’s motivation and interests; 2. Mentor the adult learner; 3. Consider strategies to participate in the adult learner’s learning; 4. Utilize the adult learner’s life experiences in the activities provided; Key Principles for Leaders to Know, con’t 5. Give the adult learner choices in planning his or her learning; 6. Explore the adult learner’s expectations for learning, work related and/or personal; 7. Provide problem-centered activities; 8. Analyze each individual for learning characteristics; Key Principles for Leaders to Know, con’t 9. Lead using different approaches and strategies; 10. Create socialization opportunities in activities; 11. Demand the adult learner’s attention through inspirational leadership; and 12. Practice learner-centered rather than educational leader–centered leading.