By completing this module, mentors will be able to:
As adult learners we don’t like being told what to do, we want to do things in our own time, and it better be worth it or we’re not interested! This is the way adults are hardwired to approach education. Adult learning principles provide insight into how to reach and please mature learners who know what they want.
In 1984, Malcolm Knowles suggested 4 principles that can be applied to adult learning. One of the principles is that adult learners’ experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities. Another is that adult learning is problem-centred rather than content-oriented.
These principles tie in directly with the social work practice of reflection. As a profession, social work acknowledges the need for reflective practice. Reflective practice involves the critical analysis of everyday working practices to improve competence and promote professional development. Reflective practice is also key to adult learning, as learners become aware of, and reflect on, significant experiences and/or critical incidents.