Many theories exist in today's educational world to help motivate adult students. Adult students cannot be taught, motivated, or assessed in the same ways that traditional students can be taught, motivated, or assessed. Adult learners need different strategies and theories to help motivate them to learn and do well in the classroom. The following is a breakdown of 3 theories to motivate adult students.
Theory Number One
Theory number one is that assignments must be relevant for adult students. Adult students must be able to see the purpose and relevance in an assignment. The purpose of any assignment for an adult learner must be clear to the adult learner, so he sees the importance in completing the assignment. The only way an adult learner will be motivated to complete an assignment is if the end result seems worthwhile to him. The end result of any assignment must be focused on what the learner expects to receive from the assignment. If a teacher of an adult learner understands why the adult learner is continuing his education, the teacher will be able to create relevant assignments to meet the adult student's personal goals.
Theory Number Two
The second of the 3 theories to motivate adult students is keep class time and assignments short and as simple as possible. Adult students often have families at home to take care of, and often, they are responsible for children at home as well. Adult students are usually trying to hold down full-time jobs to support their families while continuing their educations. This means that school does not rank first in their priority lists. While adult students want to learn and get higher educations, they often have little time to spend in doing so. This means that the teacher of adult students must teach, get his point across, and assign work in a timely manner. Teachers of adult students must keep in mind how much time their adult students will actually have to sit in the classroom, complete their assignments, or study for tests.
Theory Number Three
The third of the 3 theories to motivate adult students is to help adult learners see the big picture. Adult learners have gone back to school for a purpose. In order to be motivated, adult learners must be able to see how the education they are getting is useful to them in the long run. These students can be motivated if the teacher will take the time to show them how more education can help them in the future. Motivating factors for adult learners often include such things as finding better jobs or careers or earning more money down the road.
When put into practice, these three theories can help motivate adult learners. Adult learners need to see the purpose in their assignments. They need shortened assignments catered to their very busy lifestyles. Adult students need to know the end results of their higher education: better jobs and better pay. Motivating adult learners will pay off in the long run as they complete their higher degrees.
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