Chapter 2: How Do Adults Learn?

Adult learning theory, also known as andragogy, focuses on the way adults respond to learning methods and how they differ from children (O’Neill, 2020). It is necessary to remember that adults are in a different place in their lives, as they have multiple social and personal responsibilities that impact their day-to-day decisions and activities. Trainers and teachers need to understand that the needs and interests of adults differ from those of children, which is why they must “tailor [their training methods] to take advantage of qualities adult learners have” (Irish, 2019).

Key Takeaways

  1. Understand the theory of adult learning
  • Describe the challenges and benefits that occur with implementing adult learning
  • Identify the principles of adult learning theory
  • Explain the differences between how adults and children learn

2. Comprehend the sub-theories of adult learning

  • Identify the five theories involved in adult learning theory
  • Describe which of the theories will resonate with which learning styles

3. Apply adult learning in training programs and life




Authors: Alexandra Kerr, Chelsea McMullen, & Natasha Mehay


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People Learning and Development Copyright © by Monica Affleck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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