Adult education is the process whereby adults engage in systematic and sustained learning activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values.
Adult education can take place in the workplace, through "extension" school (e.g., Harvard Extension School) or "school of continuing education" (e.g., Columbia School of Continuing Education).
Adult education has also been referred to as andragogy
Educating adults differs from educating children in several ways.
One of the most important differences is that adults have accumulated knowledge and work experience which can add to the learning experience.
Another difference is that most adult education is voluntary,
therefore, the participants are generally self-motivated.
They must have a reasonable expectation that the knowledge they gain will help them further their goals.
adults who dropped out of high school return to school to complete general education requirements.
Most upwardly mobile positions require at the very least a high school diploma or equivalent
A working adult is unlikely to have the freedom to simply quit his or her job and go "back to school" full-time. Public school systems and community colleges usually offer evening or weekend classes for this reason
Principles of Adult Learning
The Canadian Literacy and Learning Network outlines the 7 key principles of adult learning. In other words, these 7 principles distinguish adult learners from children and youth.
1. Adults must want to learn. They will only learn when they are internally motivated to do so.
2. Adults will only learn what they feel they need to learn. In other words, they are practical.
3. Adults learn by doing. Active participation is especially important to adult learners in comparison to children.
4. Adult learning is problem-based and these problems must be realistic. Adult learners like finding solutions to problems.
5. Adult learning is affected by the experience each adult brings....