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Frustration and Resistance among Adult Learners Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Jan 29th, 2021


The number of adult learners continues to increase on a daily basis. Learning opportunities exist in different settings, such as formal institutions and places of work (Fink 19). Adult learners are different from their younger counterparts. Consequently, teaching them has its unique challenges. One of them is frustration and resistance among this group.

Project Type and Specific Topic

Instructors dealing with adult learners face various challenges in the course of their work. One issue is frustration and resistance from these individuals. Adult students have their own set of expectations and reasons for learning (Galbraith 59). However, they are easily frustrated and become resistant when things do not turn out as expected.

Rationale for Choosing the Topic

The reason for choosing this topic is because most instructors dealing with adult learners report facing the aforementioned problem when dealing with them. Adult students have different levels of motivations, expectations, and experiences. According to McKeachie and Svinicki, some of them have been out of the classroom setting for a long time (77). Consequently, getting back to school may be an intimidating experience. Within the course of learning, adult students get frustrated and discouraged when they feel that they are making little or no progress. In addition, some resist learning in instances where they do not see the importance of a specific activity. Such attitudes are infectious.


Adult learners are more sophisticated and experienced compared to young students. Teaching them is both rewarding and challenging. By understanding their needs and behavior patterns, instructors can effectively manage the challenges posed by these learners.

Nature of Educational Setting and Program Taught

The interview took place within a formal adult learning education center. Students attend classes from Monday to Thursday between 6:30pm to 9:00pm. All the learners enrolled in the institution are eighteen years and above. Their primary aim of attending school is to evaluate their learning experiences.

The interviewee teaches composition to these learners. The unit entails teaching different writing skills (Boshier 66). The scholars are taught how to compose essays in both descriptive and persuasive manners.

Interview Questions

What is the Average Age of yours Students?

Most of the students in the classroom are aged between 20 and 30 years. However, a few are in their 50s. In spite of the differences in age, all students are treated in the same way. Respect is of utmost importance.

What do you like about your Job?

Teachers are happy when they make an impact on the life of their student (Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner 54). The educator likes the fact that most of the learners find writing to be interesting and relevant to their careers. Majority of them work for different institutions. As such, they take the course as part of their management program. When learners love a course, teaching becomes enjoyable.

What are the Challenges of Teaching Adult Students?

One of the challenges outlined by the educator is time constraint. Most adult students juggle between personal and professional obligations outside the classroom (Hoare 79). In addition, some are faced with financial difficulties. Such problems affect their learning process and ability to absorb concepts. Due to the busy schedule of these learners, the teacher is at times forced to go against class policies and deadlines. The reason for this is to allow for flexibility.

What have you Learned in your Position?

The teacher cited having learned different things within the course of their career as an adult educator. Instructors dealing with grown-ups are able to accommodate and manage a group of different people with ease (Boshier 61). In addition, the teacher has been able to better understand adult learners and their expectations. The understanding enables instructors to know how to give instructions and assignments.

What are some of the Advantages of Teaching Adults?

The tutor outlined several benefits of teaching adults. Adult learners are more organized and prepared for classes than young students (Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner 58). In addition, they are more interested in what the instructor is teaching. The reason is because most courses are relevant to their profession. Another advantage of teaching adult students is that they bring different perceptions and experiences to the classroom.

What Advice do you have for someone starting out?

According to the instructor, teachers dealing with adults should not pretend to know everything. The reason is because they are experts in teaching whereas their learners are specialists in their fields of profession. Tutors starting out should understand they have a lot to learn from grown-up learners (Hoare 77). The papers written by such scholars in class are full of enriching information on various topics.

Comparison between the Interview and Class Teaching

Most of the instructor’s responses were similar to what was learned in class. Some of the similarities include the issues touching on the fact that young and adult learners have different characteristics. For example, adults are more organized compared to their younger counterparts. In addition, grown-ups have more experience. As a result, these learners are able to solve problems much better using their extensive knowledge. Adults are also more concerned and focused on their education compared to young learners.

Works Cited

Boshier, Peter. Perspectives of Quality in Adult Learning, London: Continuum, 2006. Print.

Fink, Dee. Creating Significant Learning Experience, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003. Print.

Galbraith, Michael. Adult Learning Methods: A Guide for Effective Instruction. 3rd ed. 2004. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Pub. Print.

Hoare, Carol. Handbook of Adult Development and Learning, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.

McKeachie, James, and Marilla Svinicki. McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. 12th ed. 2006. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Print.

Merriam, Sharan, Rosemary Caffarella, and Leonard Baumgartner. Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide. 3rd ed. 2007. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Print.

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