Educational Experience: Teaching a Class of Adult Thesis

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¶ … Educational Experience: Teaching a class of adult learners

As part of my duties as an instructor and facilitator of adult learners at work, I was given the task of orienting new employees in a new computer program in the Human Resources (HR) department. The students were intrinsically motivated and eager to learn for the sake of their job, given that they knew that the program would substantially increase organizational efficiency and make their jobs easier, even without my explaining how this would be the case. The original system was paper-based and of great frustration to the students as well as the organization. The level of HR service had been rated as below average in the area of keeping and maintaining accurate records, and the Vice President of Human Resources had determined that the system of record-keeping was to blame for the low performance ratings. The employees were eager to show that, with the proper training and computer system, their personal job performance would be improved, as would that of the department as a whole.

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Regardless of this intrinsic motivation, however, I felt a certain tension between the way that the class expectations and structure were formatted and the nature of the student body. For example, when beginning the day, I waited for all of the students to assemble in the classroom, much as a high school teacher (I admit) might linger a bit after the bell rang, until all of the students were seated. Later, the majority of the class said that I should have begun teaching immediately, and they resented having to wait, wasting time for individuals who did not take the learning process seriously. This type of attitude I personally found refreshing, but it was one I was unaccustomed to, from my previous teaching experiences. The students needed to learn for their job, and knew if they did not that their performance would be sub-par and that their performance reviews would suffer. Because the class was highly motivated to succeed, this translated into engagement in the material, frequent questions, and vigorous note-taking before I made any effort to solicit such a response.

TOPIC: Thesis on Educational Experience: Teaching a Class of Adult Assignment

While I responded well as an instructor to the high level of motivation in class, occasionally because of our similarity in age, there was tension between myself and some of the students. For example, one woman of a similar age asked me questions frequently, and was eager to answer the questions I presented to the class. I asked these questions prompts to review the classes' knowledge of the material. When she was wrong, approximately 30% of the time, the student seemed surprised and upset, even though technically I was the teacher and theoretically I had superior knowledge. The institution of the classroom can be a powerful one, where the teacher 'has' knowledge and the student receives it, but the personal characteristics of adult teachers in a class of adult learners can strain at the boundaries of societal institution, given that she seemed to see the two of us as equals.

However, another student who was far less comfortable with computers, even though she was an adult learner, made use of my knowledge and asked me for additional assistance without seeming to be embarrassed. My stress that I was a resource but an equal to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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