Building Blocks for the Adult Learning Experience

John Henschke


The author is seeking to improve the process of building and conducting active adult learning experiences by considering and implementing the various elements that need to be included. After reflecting on his 22 years of experience in the adult education field and immersing himself in the literature of adult education, he concluded that there were five major elements (which he called building blocks) for conducting and engaging participants in an Adult Learning Experience, which are: beliefs and notions about adult learners; perceptions concerning qualities of effective teachers; phases and sequences of the learning process; teaching tips and learning techniques; and, implementing the prepared plan. Before a presentation the audience may be divided into teams of four or five people. Depending upon how many groups there are, each team is given one of the five building blocks to address the following question: As you are readying yourself for helping a group of adults learn, what would/do you focus on regarding your…? (beliefs and notions about adult learners, etc.) After each group develops their answer, and a spokesperson gives their answer, then the author will give comments to each one in turn, and summarize. This demonstrates the building blocks “best practice.”