Learning and teaching methods

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Teachers need to use a variety of methods when facilitating learning experiences for adults. Skills for independent and self-directed learning need to be recognised and scaffolded appropriately. Existing experience needs to be acknowledged and built on through active learning.

Expert adult learners: To engage and motivate adult students, 10 learning and teaching principles and theories are recommended, and are outlined in Goalposts. This is a the New Zealand-based resource, based on current and influential ideas. It is aimed at new teachers but is also relevant for experienced teachers.

  1. Prior knowledge and experience
  2. The importance of culture
  3. Respectful partnerships and relationships
  4. Autonomous and independent
  5. Goals and motivation
  6. Relevant and practical
  7. Learning styles and ways of thinking
  8. Critical reflection
  9. Environment for learning
  10. Change and transformative learning.

(Honeyfield & Fraser, 2013).

Work-based training: Nancy Johnson (2011) has prepared a useful article about Facilitating the best adult learning experiences. She explains What? Why? and How? in five steps with an overview of some techniques for providing a range of different learning experiences. It has a focus for training in the workplace. Suggestions for using audiovisual tools are suggested.

Vocational education: Lucas, Spencer and Claxton (2012) describe a number of methods for learning and teaching in vocational settings. How to teach vocational education: a theory of vocational pedagogy.

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  • Explore the resources, and select at least two learning and teaching methods that are relevant to your context.
  • Describe and justify why these pedagogical approaches could be used in your teaching practice to facilitate adult learners.