Predictable traits of the adult learner, such as attitude, allow us to build a Theory of the Adult Learner. The adult learner wants:

  1. content to answer their immediate need(s) in a timely manner.
    They want a short, predictable, sequenced routine they can easily understand and duplicate for efficiency and effectiveness. 
  2. ready-to-use ideas, skills and procedures.
    They are adamant about no-nonsense! Therefore, throw out the fluff and discard the wordy explanations. Do not beat around the bush; be straight-forward and clear, and stick to the facts.
  3. clear connections from the training to what they are needing in their job.
    They need to see the relevancy between the training and their work situation.

Learning Practices of the Adult Learner (guiding principles)

Strategies (in the “work-setting”) for the Adult Learner


Fogarty, R. and Pete, B. (2004). The adult learner: some things we know. Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, California.