Because adult learners have many life responsibilities and roles (including work, parenthood and a social life), they need a different classroom structure than do children. Their busy schedules preclude going to class at certain hours or completing homework every night. We understand irregular attendance and plan class activities as a unit within each class meeting. In this way, students who can not complete homework or come to class every night will still be able to take advantage of learning opportunities. Since adults are interested in so many different domains outside the classroom, it is essential to bring these interests to the class in the form of relevant curricula and individualization of learning activities.
Because adults become impatient when they don’t perceive an immediate application for what is being taught, they should be given opportunities for input into the curriculum regarding their most urgent needs. Understanding the relevance of activities to their daily lives will also encourage students to persevere, as will feedback from us.
Because adult learning is voluntary, we keep up student interest in the classes. Interest in the course will remain high if students actively participate. Homework assignments are given as “suggested” rather than “required” work. Because adults have varied reasons for taking classes, we need to cultivate an informal and entertaining teaching style. Learning goals with different types of activities for learning, practicing, recycling and reviewing help students maintain their interest.
Because adults have a variety of different learning styles, we match these with a variety of teaching styles. We provide activities for all of the senses, for the entire class, for small groups, and for pairs.