New Insights on Adult Education

So far in this course, I am developing a greater appreciation for all of different learning and teaching styles.  As far as the education of future Registered Massage Therapists, I feel like I have learned a lot and still have much to process on the role instructors play in the classroom; however, the biggest insight gained is the importance of educating students to learn and continue learning.

It is vital to the success of our students future practices that we facilitate a learning environment that encourages and develops each students ability to continue to learn after graduation.  This will ensure they area able to stay current in new trends and research going on in our field.

I have a greater appreciation for the different types of learning theories, although, I do feel I could use a little more time to reflect and research  I have discovered that I gravitate more towards a humanism approach, but I can see the value and how other learning theories, like behaviorism and cognitivism.  My general philosophy and where I draw the most passion from teaching, is when I can use a more humanism approach, however, my specific institution uses cognitivism approaches as well and even some behaviorism.  Our clinical experience that students undertake also seems to gravitate towards a social cognitive approach.

I see the value of self directed learning, an have much more respect for giving students the freedom to explore and succeed and fail at something, to problem solve their way to understanding a classroom concept, to why a certain policy is relevant.  However, Merriam and Bierema (2014) statement “most adults are self-directed in major areas of their lives, the minute they walk into a situation labelled “education”, “training” or any of the synonyms, they hark back to their conditioning in school, assume a role of dependency, and demand to be taught” (p.48).  makes me realize how important it is to cultivate this in students.  As a senior administration staff member, this is something important I need to pass on to my instructors.

I am on week six of our ten week course, and I feel that as I do more reading in the text and researching articles for my lesson planning I will no doubt gain more insight.  However, I am also feeling a bit overwhelmed at the amount of information I am taking in, so some time to stop and reflect would be valuable as well as implementing some of my new knowledge.  That however will have to wait until after my maternity leave.

References

Merriam. S., &  Bierema. L., (2014). Adult learning Linking Theory and                                   Practice. San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

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