Challenges Of Being An Adult Learner And How To Overcome Them

Improving skillset and adding new things to it from time to time is a good thing to know. Every other person at any stage of life has the right to advance in their carrier. Development is part of human nature since evolution. But how you evolve yourself over time is a bit difficult thing to manage.

Learning a new skill in your life at any stage of life requires proper attention, investment of time, and money. That is why the students of the adult school are quite different from fresh high school students. New concepts are easy to learn at a tender age.

According to human psychology and developmental reactions occurring in the brain, a child is easily adaptable to new learnings, skills, and work. Being an adult, everybody has their commitments to fulfill. In that way, going back to school may prove to be a challenging attempt.

It is exciting to hear that someone is going to advance in the carrier. Reinventing skillset is all charming and ambitious until you hit by the challenges that come along with it.

What does it mean to be an adult learner?

The concept of pedagogy is a three-sixty degree different idea from andragogy. Andragogy is what we call adult learning, while pedagogy teaches a child from an early age. It says that adult learners are goal-oriented individuals, and they are intrinsically motivated.

How long that motivation stays with the person in adult learning is not a challenge in itself. But it is easier said than done. 

Types of challenges

The adult learner might face hindrance in school-life balance, financing education, lagging in technology, social fears, and lack of motivation. How such things are probably on the way to adult learning is discussed next. 

·      Situational challenges

The situational barrier includes some personal challenges, societal pressures, and multiple other responsibilities, from taking care of your family to earning a livelihood for them. It sometimes comes in the form of a lack of support and societal pressures.

·      Institutional challenges

Lack of institutions established at the governmental or national level is the big challenge an adult learner might face. An adult learner finds it difficult to finance his or her education with multiple other responsibilities at that point in life.

The state should take appropriate measures to support adult learners. They will play their role in the development of the country later on.

·      Attitudinal challenges

Attitudinal barriers have less to deal with the outside world and more with the person’s self. He should be disciplined enough to pursue his dreams for future endeavors. Lack of intrinsic motivation might be the actual attitudinal barrier.

They may have a silent war within themselves of being less smart,  having less time, not financially stable enough, and many more.

·      Academic challenges

In this era of an advanced technological shift, academic barriers may come from a lack of IT-related skills. A person who is not proficient enough to operate technical pieces of equipment and work with the latest tools and technologies might not feel confident enough to learn effectively and efficiently.

Apart from this, lack of critical thinking and creativity may prove another hurdle in adult learner learning. Facilitators, administrators, and professionals must assist adult learners in this regard. They should not lag behind others.

·      Physical challenges

Apart from all other external barriers faced by adult learners, they have health issues. With the natural aging process, adults find difficulty hearing, seeing, declining mental capabilities, and learning abilities make it difficult for them to be on the same page with young high school individuals.

What do adult learners need?

Keeping in view the challenges faced, an adult learner’s requirements are different from a high school student.

Let’s see how to make life easier for them.

·      Flexibility

Adult learners are the victim of hectic routines. Providing them with a flexible environment to learn in what they utmost need. It is better to schedule courses online for adult learners. That gives them enough time and space to develop themselves.

·      Value for money

The companies should arrange training and developmental programs apart from the job but related to those skills. The employer should be concerned enough for his employees. Such courses should be certified, which provides recognition as well as be the one with value for money.

·      Supportive community

Adult learners should make their network among themselves. It will help in boosting their confidence level. There is no need to compete with those who are not of their age. And are not going through the phase they are stuck in. Build connections and support each other in your journey towards better tomorrow.

·      Setting goals

The coach needs to set short goals for adult learners. Setting short goals will help in establishing a sense of achievement in their learners. Do not set long and challenging goals for them in the first place. That will might put them in fear of not being able to accomplish anything.

·      Provide feedback

Provide feedback more frequently to learners. That will enhance communication and bridge the gap between supervisor and learner. In this way, the student may feel comfortable and become more open and responsive to their needs. 

Let them learn in a friendly environment, and see the difference that it will make.

Final thoughts

Hence, the classroom experiences of adult learners are different from high school students. The assistance provided to adult learners should be different. The training must be keener and skill-oriented. And in a friendly environment.

Adult learners need to find solutions to their problems themselves. It is not solely the responsibility of the trainer to spoon-feed them. Mature individuals are more independent and decision-makers. They are more responsive to their needs and wants.

Being an adult learner, see the challenges that come your way as motivational factors. And bloom.

Be an example for your juniors.

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