Adults Continue to Learn and Grow
The Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement of the Northeast and
Islands (1995) lists the following characteristics of effective learning
"Features of Effective Learning Experiences Summarized from the Literature
- Learners help plan the learning experience to fit their needs.
- New information is received through more than one of the five senses.
Learners may read text, hear an explanation, view a demonstration, use
- Learners process information in more than one context and in more than one
way. They may write in journals; analyze case studies; role play; hold small
group discussions; conduct interviews or present lessons; solve problems; use
art, music or movement to express ideas; manipulate materials; construct
- Questions are thoughtfully and thoroughly discussed.
- Learners are encouraged to reflect, wonder, suppose, predict.
- New concepts and information are related to current knowledge and
experience. Learners may connect the new with the old by drawing on previous
experience to illustrate new ideas; by comparing/contrasting new knowledge with
previous knowledge; by applying new strategies/skills to familiar situations;
by constructing metaphors for new concepts, etc. Or new information may trigger
a process--over time--of deconstructing previous knowledge. . . .
- The learning environment is collegial. Learners learn from one another.
Ideas and perspectives reflect the ethnic and gender diversity of the learners.
Learners value and welcome diverse viewpoints.
- Learners use new information over time, testing, comparing notes with other
users, revising and refining understanding and practice.
- Learners have access, when needed, to support and feedback from those whose
expertise they respect.
- Learners value what they are learning.
- Learners experience success."
Reprinted with permission of the Regional Laboratory for Educational
Improvement of the Northeast and Islands from Facilitating Systemic Change
in Science and Mathematics Education: A Toolkit for Professional
Developers. (c) 1995.
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