Have you ever thought about how your military caregivers, families, service members and colleagues process information? As helping professionals we tend to take-in information differently as we learn new things and the same can be said for the military families that we serve. By understanding the various learning styles it may help you, the service provider, better connect with families in order to provide the highest quality educational information to meet their individual needs.
There are four principles of adult learning identified by Malcolm Knowles, the pioneer of adult learning: (1) Autonomous and Self-Directed, (2) Life Experiences and Knowledge, (3) Goal-Oriented and Relevancy-Oriented and (4) Practical.
In today’s blog, we are focusing on principal #1 (Autonomy and Self-Direction) of adult learning and how the learning style can be applied to those you serve.
Autonomy and Self-Direction
Adults that tend to favor Autonomy and Self-Direction like to direct their own learning, and often times like to take on the leadership roles. They prefer to be actively involved in learning and work around their personal goals and specific interests.
As a service provider, some things to keep in mind when providing education and training to military families is to have them discuss their personal learning goals for the meeting, session or training that you are providing. When you are working with families, help the individual to reflect on what they have learned and set new goals as a result of the reflection. As their provider, there will be times that you need to also help them modify their goals as needed.
Over the course of the next few months the OneOp Military Caregiving concentration will be discussing the remaining three principles of adult learning, as well as adult learning styles. Our goal with this series is to provide military service providers with a better understanding of how adults process information and learn.
This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on July 1, 2016.