network Adult learningOne of the four essential elements for making any network fully functional is an emphasis on adult learning. This engages participants through appropriate activities and reflection. It is learner-oriented rather than teacher-oriented.

Consider these principles of adult learning:

  • Adult learning is based on recognized need.
  • Adult learning takes place in a safe environment with healthy relationships.
  • Adult learning involves proper sequence and reinforcement.
  • Adult learning involves practice and reflection.
  • Adult learning allows learners to make decisions and control the process. Participants take responsibility for implementation.
  • Adult learning allows for the expression of facts, ideas and feelings.
  • Adult learners need to see the immediate usefulness of new ideas.
  • Adult learning often involves team work.
  • Adult learning actively engages the learner.
  • Adult learning requires accountability.

When and where have you experienced an effective adult learning process? How have you utilized adult learning principles as a leader? How could you adapt your networks to take full advantage of adult learning?