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Radiographics. 2004 Sep-Oct;24(5):1483-9.

Education techniques for lifelong learning: principles of adult learning.

Author information

  • Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, E3/311 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53792-3252, USA. j.collins@hosp.wisc.edu


The adult education literature supports the idea that teaching adults should be approached in a different way than teaching children and adolescents (preadults). Many aspects of effective teaching apply to all age groups. However, adults have had more life experiences and in many ways are differently motivated than children. Adults are more self-directed in their learning and have a greater need to know why they should learn something. Self-initiated learning is the most lasting and pervasive. Learning should be applicable to the learner's work or to other responsibilities valued by the learner. Thus, it is important that the instructor know the learner's needs and design learning activities that are relevant to those needs. The learner should be actively involved in learning, with the instructor acting as a facilitator. The instructor should recognize that adults have different learning styles and should tailor instruction to the characteristic ways adults prefer to learn. Understanding the principles of adult learning can help teachers become better facilitators of learning.

Copyright RSNA, 2004

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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