Adult Learning and Participatory
Training
Definition
• Training (event):
– Dictionary definition = activity leading to skilled
behaviour
– Interpretation = skills development leading to a
defined learning outcome
– Event = time bound
• Skills development, learning and knowledge
Learning styles
Some people learn by hearing and
listening.
They are called AUDIO or AUDITORY
learners.
Learning styles
Some people learn by seeing, watching or
reading.
They are called VISUAL learners.
Learning styles
Some people learn by doing.
They are called KINAESTHETIC or
TACTILE learners.
I hear, and I forget
I see, and I remember
I do, and I understand
Chinese proverb
Learning as children
Did you like going to school?
If you did, why did you like it?
If you did not, why did you continue to go
to school?
Child and adult learning
Children:
• Are told what is
important to learn and
accept this
• Accept the information
being presented at face
value
• Expect that what they
are learning will be
useful in their long-term
future
Adults:
• Decide for themselves
what is important to
learn
• Take in information
based on their own
experiences
• Expect that what they
are learning will be
useful immediately
Child and adult learning (continued)
Children:
• Have little ability to
serve as a
knowledgeable
resource to the
teacher or the rest
of the class
Adults:
• Have experiences
and skills to share
with the facilitator
and the other
participants
Adult learning principles
• Adults need to know why they need to learn
something
• Adults need to learn by using their own
experiences
• Adults approach learning as problem-solving
• Adults learn best when the topic is of
immediate value
• Adult learning is an active process of
reflection and discussion
Effective training?
In the past, much ‘training’ looked like
this:
Participatory training
Training based around adult learning
principles looks more like this:
Participatory training: key features
• Trainer’s role is to ask questions and facilitate
discussions
• Both trainers and trainees are knowledgeable and
experienced
• Everyone should reflect on her/his own, then share
their ideas, experiences and expertise
• Trainees are active and analytical, asking questions
and exploring alternatives
• Trainees develop their own answers. Indeed there
may be many different answers
• The training event is a learning experience for both
trainer and trainees
Summary
• Training is about developing skills
• Keep in mind:
- Learning styles
- Principles of adult learning
• Participants participate in their own
learning = participatory training
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