It should be different to teach adults than children?

To answer this question is necessary to start defining adulthood. I think an adult is someone who knows what to do with his/her life. Adults have chosen a path on life and are settled to learn new things in order to overcome challenges along the way. Conversely, a child does not know precisely what to expect from life neither feels the need to answer that question. Since adults envision themselves in the future, their interest in education are related to that vision. Kids do not mind about a future beyond their birthdays or the holydays season. Child’s concerns are current, such as have fun, eat, play or use the restrooms. Kids do not mind what will happen in 10 more years. Considering children are more focus on current needs and adults on future challenges, at-the-classroom incentives should work better to attract children attention. Converserly, adults enroll educational programs to have a better future. They enroll voluntarily and like to understand how learning will improve their life. When teaching kids is good to provide incentives that work at physiological level like happy faces or funny gifts. On the other hand, adults need to understand how their learning will help to succeed life. As many professors do, we cannot teach adults like they were kids. Grades were definitely created to teach kids, meaningfulness is what work better with adults. Misleading this point would encourage adults to have a superficial learning and to develop an extrinsic motivation. In future posts I will go further about the definition of adulthood and why we teach using methods that were developed to teach children.



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