February 17, 2009

Vella's 12 Adult Learning Principles

In recent years Jane Vella has become a renowned and respected figure in the adult teaching field. Vella's 12 Principles for Adult Learners, spelled out in her known book Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults, are highly regarded in adult education. Below are Vella's 12 Principles.

* Needs assessment: participation of the learners in naming what is to be learned.

* Safety in the environment and the process. We create a context for learning. That context can be made safe.

* Sound relationships between teacher and learner and among learners.

* Sequence of content and reinforcement.

* Praxis: action with reflection or learning by doing.

* Respect for learners as decision makers.

* Ideas, feelings, and actions: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor aspects of learning.

* Immediacy of the learning.

* Clear roles and role development.

* Teamwork and use of small groups.

* Engagement of the learners in what they are learning.

* Accountability: how do they know they know?

These 12 Principles are actually quite helpful towards working with any learners in higher education.

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