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Adul Learning Series

In life we are often driven forward by our goals and many of our choices are made based on the relevancy of them. As helping professionals you work with clients who are also goal driven, which leads us to our third principle of adult learning: Goal-Oriented and Relevancy-Oriented. Malcolm Knowles, who is often referred to as the pioneer of adult learning, identified four principles of adult learning: (1) Autonomous and Self-Directed, (2) Life Experiences and Knowledge, (3) Goal-Oriented and Relevancy-Oriented and (4) Practical.

Previously we identified principle (1) Autonomous and Self-Directed as well as (2) Life Experiences and Knowledge, where we encouraged military service providers to relate new information back to the life experiences of their clients as well as their clients’ prior knowledge. This month our focus shifts to principle (3) Goal-Oriented and Relevancy-Oriented.


Goal-Oriented and Relevancy-Oriented.

Adults are relevancy-oriented, meaning they need to see a reason for learning something. They are also goal-oriented, needing to see the applicability of the experience in order to also see the value. When training adults remember that a theory will need to be related to practical experiences.

As a service provider, when providing education and training to military families be explicit about your goals for the lesson or training. Help you families by explaining the relevancy of the assignments or activities you’ve asked them to participate in. Also, as a service provider, be sure to provide choices for your families, when appropriate, so that they are able to choose what they consider to be the most relevant.

The OneOp Military Caregiving concentration is beginning to wrap up the Adult Learning Series. Next month we will discuss the final principle of adult learning followed by an explanation of adult learning styles. If you missed our previous posts in this series, you can catch up through our Adult Learning Series homepage.

This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on September 23, 2016.