The Adult Learner


Adult education is significantly different from child education. The structure used in adult education is also different. This is as a result of the different stage of development of an adult. The concept of andragogy in adult education illustrates the different format that adult education should take.


Adult education is different from children education due to the nature on an adult. The concept of andragogy as used in adult education takes is based on four major assumption on nature of an adult: Self concept, experience, readiness to learn, readiness to learn and motivation (Smith, 2002).

An adult is self directed. Unlike the child who is taken to learning institution by the guardian, an adult need for education originates from within. Thus the adult learner makes the initiative to learn (Smith, 2002). They have a purpose for learning which gives them the drive to learn. Thus adult learner is cooperative and greatly motivated to learn. At the sate of development, an adult learner has psychologically developed, this allow initiative and self direction. The self directed influence the teaching of adult learner whereby the learning is structured to promote imitative.

The adult learner has a lot experience from his or her life (Smith, 2002). Through his or her development, the adult have acquired way of receiving and processing information. Adult education thus has a responsibility for confirming earlier opinions are breaking them. An adults

The Adult Learner

approach to education is different from that of a child in that an adult relate the concepts learnt with real life and with its relevance to his or her life. Thus adult learners would more critical on the concepts taught.


Adult education is very essential. For the success of adult education the approach used in that education should be significantly different than that used in child education. Andragogy concept developed by Knowles gives a good base for structuring adult education.


Smith (2002):-Malcolm Knowles, Informal adult education, self-directed and andragogy;-the encyclopedia informal education;