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Adul Learning Series

As helping professionals, we tend to acquire and process information differently as we learn new things, this is true of all adults including Military Families. By understanding the principles of adult learning, it may help you to better connect with families in order to provide the highest quality education that will meet their needs.

There are four principles of adult learning identified by Malcolm Knowles, known as the pioneer of adult learning. We have previously discussed (1) Autonomous and Self-Directed, (2) Life Experiences and Knowledges, and (3) Goal-Oriented. In this blog we will address the final principal of adult learning (4) Practical.



Adults are practical and like to be able to apply their knowledge. New concepts and theories can be understood and taught, however if there is a lack of opportunities for the new skill, theory, or concept to be applied many adults will not retain the information.

When providing instruction or information for adults be mindful of having opportunities for your students to practice the new information or skill with others. Provide opportunities to apply new information through role play, by working through scenarios, or by completing the new skill.


Next month the OneOp Military Caregiving concentration will be discussing adult learning styles, which will provide a deeper understanding of how adults learn and process information.


This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on October 7, 2016.