The Importance of Training the Adult Educator

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 -- Mitchell Welch

When the goal is intervention it is important to train adult educators.  At Edmentum Higher Ed our goal is to help adult learner institutions and instructors identify strengths and areas of improvement early and provide instruction that addresses their learners’ needs.

Through our initiatives it is imperative that we create a proactive approach to help institutions create job-embedded professional development. Adult educators need this proactive professional development to learn how to engage in a continual learning process of assessing learners’ strengths and weaknesses and providing or modifying instruction that pre-emptively targets the learners’ needs.  

In order for this professional development for adult educators to be successful there are four training initiatives that must be present.

1)  We must help the adult instructor demonstrate foundational knowledge in adult learning, academic content areas, assessment instruments, and technology.

We must create training that provides resources that allow adult educators to become more knowledgeable in their subject area and improve their basic understanding of adult teaching standards in the process. Giving instructors resources on how to create a formative intervention environment that incorporates adult learning best practices is key!

2)  We must help instructors create a learning environment that promotes efficient learning, content mastery, and decreases reteaching

Our training must promote value and respect for differentiation. We must empower adult educators to address individual learning needs of their learners and embrace their learners’ diversity. We must give them tools to create a fair and respectful learning environment which encourages learners to make choices and decisions around their own results.

3)  We must enable instructors to generate pre-instructional data, to formatively assess learning, and to communicate results to their learners.  

It is important that instructors have the skills to create informal performance-based assessments and to use these assessments to gather data before they deliver instructional content. Through training, instructors can learn to use this data to establish a baseline of knowledge, skills, and learning styles. It is important that they provide opportunities for their learners to use this pre-instructional data to self-evaluate and analyze their own individual and classroom performance.

4)  We must help instructors plan, implement, and manage differentiated instruction that develop the abilities to communicate, apply concepts, think critically, and apply instructional content unassisted by the instructor.

Instructors need to not only plan in order to cover all necessary content but cover instructional objectives strategically and efficiently.  We need to train instructors to help them develop the skills to align learning objectives with learner goals and abilities. Instructors need to create an environment where learning is connected to real world experiences and performance is transferred to unassisted results. 

Creating professional development through these components will facilitate the delivery of specific, individualized learner experiences and outcomes. Through this type of initiative we can help adult educators create strong intervention initiatives that have a compilation of strategies that are intentional, strategic, meaningful, interrelated, and designed to work together.

At Edmentum Higher Ed, we strive to help your instructors cultivate a culture of high expectations, 21st century skill acquisition, and college and career readiness. We offer personalized, formative, and summative support and learning experiences for each learner based on their needs (including online experiences). Through a strong training partnership we will promote strong, deep interactions among learners, staff, community-based organizations, business, and higher education institutions.

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