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Andragogy

Adult learners are said to learn differently than young children. Due to different motivations and conditions, adult learning is referred to as Andragogy as opposed to pedagogy. 

My second career of being an aviation professional has continuously presented me with adult learning experiences. As a flight attendant earning my wings, I will recollect each assumption of adult learning with an experience I have had in training or as a trainer in avatiation. 

Each example correlates to the assumption on the left. 

Self Motivated 
Experience
Learner Relevance
Learner Plans Instruction
Understanding Why in Learning
Self Directed 
Assumptions                         Examples

1. Adult learners manage learning on their own, more efficiently than children.

2. Adult learners have had lives, credible work and other experiences that they reflect on to learn new things.

 

3. Adult learners have more at stake and are typically ready and willing to learn.

4. Adult learners flourish with studies that are immediately useful, as these could be utilized in their waking lives. This could include work and professional or home and leisure. 

5. Adult learners want to motivate themselves, otherwise they would not engage in learning that is not necessary or pertinent to their lives in some way. 

1. As a flight attendant trainee, I was expected to manage my own learning. I was given a manual and had to take notes in class. There were no other tools given for learning other than physical and motor skills practice for emergency drills. There is an immense amount of information and the trainee has to decide how to approach memorization and understanding on their own. Many use study groups, self made flash cards and expansive notes to learn. 

2. Most adults have been on a plane before they enter training. As an instructor, I have only had one student not fly on a plane before coming to flight attendant training. At the least, they have an understanding of flight. Additionally, many trainees have been in service positions before and know how to manage customers needs and conflict. I have heard many stories when teaching that added to the hospitality discussion. 

3. All trainees must commit to their training. Almost all quit their jobs before leaving training. As a result, these adult learners have much more at stake than just failing tests. They will lose their potential jobs if they do not perform well. 

4. As a result of their strong desire to earn their wings, trainees take their studies seriously most of the time. They pass their test unless their was an issue with mastering a concept. Traveling, meeting people and seeing the world is a huge motivation to finish successfully (because the pay is not!)

5. Again, beginning a career as a flight attendant is a personal decision that one makes. It is a very difficult path and lifestyle. As a result the self-motivation is key in completing the course and staying in the profession. Once trainees graduate, they must still return for training throughout the year. 

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