3. Teaching Children Versus Adults

Teaching adults is different from teaching children. Adult literacy programs ask even experienced K-12 teachers to go through tutor training because of these differences. The chart, Children vs. Adults, briefly describes some differences between adults and children as students.

Click on image for a larger view and easier reading.



52 comments:

Program Coordinator said...

This is good information, provided in a clear format-very beneficial to those that have only worked with children.

Kim Shelor said...

I feel this information will be incredibly valuable to new tutors, especially those who previously taught children. This is a topic that I do find myself addressing at different times.

Queen Of My Castle said...

This information is extremely accurate. It also helps to explain to prospective tutors who have experience working with children, why they are required to attend tutor training. Many prospects that I have encountered in my short time are convinced they could automatically begin tutoring without attending our training. Adult Learners should always be treated with respect.

tutorgirl said...

The chart was clear and informative about the differences in child and adult learners. It could be used as a resource for tutors as an explanation of why they need training.

Biltz said...

The information is presented in a good format and allows us to really think about differences in adult learners as compared to children.

lillian said...

I see a big difference in adults and children.

Pat said...

completed 3/25/09

Larissa said...

Wow! What a great graphic organizer! Like others have said, some of the prospective tutors who had taught children automatically assume they know everything about adult literacy, too. This valuable resource will make it easier to convince them they need the extra training. Thank you!

jack said...

The chart was informative.

Ms. Ovette said...

It is good to be reminded here that adult learners are goal oriented. But the goals may shift and expand as learning progresses. Someone whose initial goal is to understand written instruction on the job may wind up reading for other information or for pleasure.

Juanita said...

It all makes sense.

Juanita said...

It just makes sense.

Juanita said...

It just makes sense.

Juanita said...

It just makes sense.

dianer said...

The chart was helpful in explaining the differences of children vs. adult learners.

Dixie Lee said...

I have no experience as a professional teacher but I think all of us 'teach' and 'learn' throughout our lives. Having reviewed the chart, I will remember that adults tend to learn slower than children learn and I plan to practice patience and understanding during this experience.

marcy said...

Since I previously taught children this gives a new perspective on teaching adults who come with a lot of different experiences. They will also be aware of where they have deficits. Marcy

Mardet said...

The chart is clear and makes good sense to me. Now, I just have to remember this when teaching.

Marian said...

Very concise, important information.

FrankF said...

the differences in teaching children vs adults is striking. The chart identifying those differences is outstanding.

Kareemah said...

It is good information and helpful to be aware of the differences. However, I have a slight disagreement in that I think children have innate curiosity for learning and an inner compelling, as opposed to wanting to learn because they have been told or taught to do so. As well as their outer reasons for learning, I believe adults have this inner compelling too, if it hasn't been covered over by too much failure or other obstacles.

karenzpt said...

I think Kareemah makes a good point about the innate curiosity for learning that children have. This is why it is so important to make it a positive experience. For those who have had negative experiences or perhaps learning disabilities that have gone undiagnosed, learning and reading may have become a chore. This is where we can make an impact as tutors.

Lynn said...

Helpful information. I've never taught children but I do have a background in writing job training for adults. This aligns well with that experience.

neg said...

Adults realize reading is important only when they need to understand something written.

Laurie said...

As a former teacher of young children, I really appreciate this table. I plan to make a copy it and keep in my tutoring folder.

TGLowe said...

I prefer working with adults rather than with children, because adults are motivated to learn.

Meghan said...

Having worked with both adults and children in the past, I think recognizing the life experiences and the level of self-sufficiency reached by adults is crucial. Treating them like children will only heighten their feelings of discomfort in the learning process.

SNelson said...

I agree this information is extremely helpful in selecting the right materials, allowing the student to help design the program based on their needs and interests.

Danielle said...

The chart clearly outlined a clear cut way to to know the differences between children and adult learners and is a good visual as well.

RR said...

This chart provides for better understanding of how an adult should be approached. Most of us have experienced learning as a child - it's interesting and helpful to understand the differences of educating an adult learner.

Megan N said...

That was a very clear chart that differentiated between children and adults clearly.

Kenneth Zen Bodhi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

I found the chart to be very interesting and a starting point to recognizing the difference between adult and child learners. Also, adults would have a lot more distractions than children and might be thinking, "what am I going to make for dinner" or "how will I pay my bills" and not be as focused as children could be.

domthom92090 said...

Yes, this is good information. I never really looked at the differences between teaching a child and teaching adults. I just observed them, be it child or adult, and went with their flow which resulted in them observing me enough to go with mine. Even when they may not have wanted to. Ultimately, they realized, I was there to help and to relieve some of their stress so they relaxed a little and looked forward to my arrival.

Locs of Patience said...

I agree with the differences between adult learners and children as learners based on my personal experiences.

mayraeg89 said...

This is useful information because there are many misconceptions that are presumed about teaching a child versus an adult. Helpful for those who have never taught before.

Kashayla R. said...

This chart thoroughly explains the difference between children and adults in a learning environment.One thing I would like to point out that the chart did not mention is depending on the age of the child, their attention span may be lesser than an adult. Nevertheless, children do have a greater likelihood of retaining information better than adults. Oftentimes, the subject matter must be re-iterated time and time again for the adult learner to fully grasp the concept.

B. Todd said...

Yes, these are understandable differences.

Michelle Walker said...

the chart gives a great comparison of child learners and adult learners. This is a great source for understanding and overcoming adult learners objectives.

Roger Innes said...

It all makes sense. I guess one of the problems to overcome is adults learn more slowly but expect quicker results; a feeling they are making progress.

Roger I.

Sara Lindley said...

This was great and very understandable considering the adult has more life experiences.

Susan P. said...

Very beneficial...I printed it to remain aware.

Wallace West said...

The biggest difference between children and adult learners is the independence of adults. Most adults have been around forming their own ideas and ways of accomplishing task basically doing what they want for their own goals and reasons while children take to directions faster and try to meet goals you set for them.

Regina Cook said...

It's critical to evoke in the adult learner the sentiment that success is attainable.

Pamela Lee said...

Helps to realize the differences and challenges.

Deb Ford said...

Important to keep these differences in mind

Stacy Bullock said...

I am looking forward to working with adults through my tutoring program with GoodSkills Literacy Program. In the past, I have worked with kids (grades 6-12) while substitute teaching in my county. Thanks, Stacy

james powers said...

Good info.

suki said...

Interesting, the differences between children and adults in their learning approach.

Sherry Unruh said...

Most of this is common sense but can never be over stated.

Lisa Leichssenring said...

I think the most important thing to remember is that we are dealing with our equals - grown men and women who have responsibilities and expectations - they just need a helping hand to overcome the hurdle of illiteracy.

StuMan said...

Helpful. To the point.