According to Malcolm Knowles, there are six tenets of understanding the adult learning; they include adults being independent and self-ruling learners, possessing an accumulation of knowledge and work related experiences, being goal oriented, relevancy-oriented, and practical, and requiring respect. Throughout this paper, I will outline a strong adult learning program. When it comes to building a strong adult learning model of instruction it is best to begin with a concrete understanding of what motivates the adult learner. As educators are aware, if students are not motivated then no learning is not taking place.
As research reveals, “the following six factors are sources of adult motivation: social relationships, external expectations, social welfare, personal advancement, escape/stimulation, and cognitive interest” (Lieb, 1991). However, the most prevalent motivation for adult learners is that of career advancement or maintaining current career certificates/licenses. Teachers, for example, are required to stay abreast of current trends and best practices by completing a designated number of post-graduate credits every five years merely to maintain licensure to practice. Because professional development is the most prevalent factor of adult learner motivation, a quality instructor must adhere to four essential components including inspiration, support, maintenance, and transference. If these four components are not addressed in adult learning programs, learning is not occurring for the students.
Stephen Lieb further finds that “With regards to motivation, if the participant does not recognize the need for the information, all of the instructors effort to assist the participant to learn will be in vain” (1991). For this reason, it becomes essential that instructors make it clear to their students the purpose for learning each set of skills; the learner needs to