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Adult Learner and Diverse Workplace

Adult learning is an essential element as far as the education system is concerned across the world. Education is critical to people due to its ability to improve productivity through skills development and knowledge acquisition (Rothes et al., 2016). Adult learning seeks to explore how grownups obtain expertise through non-formal and formal modes of study.

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Notably, adults have a different process of learning compared to children since they are assumed to have responsibilities for others and themselves (Rothes et al., 2016). Additionally, adults’ difference in learning is based on their personality, experience, and readiness to acquire knowledge (Rothes et al., 2016). It is important to understand the characteristics of adult learners to establish a supportive learning environment that responds to their needs and expectation in the education system.

Notably, adult learners enter an educational or training environment with the urge to take leadership and be self-directing in their learning. Psychologically, adults are defined as individuals with a self-concept of taking charge of their own decisions, and they are capable of living with the consequences regarding their actions (Rothes et al., 2016).

Adults are self-directing in numerous aspects of their lives; however, some of them usually accept dependency in the instructional setting and allow instructors to teach or train them (Smith, 2017). Notably, dependency among adult learners is a challenge; nevertheless, educators over the years have developed mechanisms to transform it to self-directing (Smith, 2017).

In order for adult educators to establish a self-directing learning experience, they need to guide the learners to understand the importance of the instructional process for their work and lives (Smith, 2017). Moreover, educators also encourage adult learners to use their judgment, leadership, and decision-making abilities in learning settings.

It is necessary for educators to gather information through application forms and interviews concerning participants before commencing teaching or training. Information such as level of education, interests, expectations, skill levels, professional experience, and need helps teachers to establish appropriate instructional objectives, design effective reinforcing, and sequence contents (Smith, 2017). Adult learners bring different experiences that are useful not only to them but also to the instructors (Smith, 2017).

To tap the skills and accumulated knowledge of the grownups, it requires the use of experimental learning modes, which involve case studies, discussion methods, and problem-solving exercises (Smith, 2017). Such services are helpful to adult learning because they allow them to refine accumulated skills and connect them to new ones, hence making learning experience relevant.

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Many adult learners do not prefer sitting and listening to the trainers talking throughout the topic. It is essential for the instructors to design learning experiences that actively include grownups and taking into account their level of experiences (Yelich & Conceição, 2015). In addition to this, concentration is also an important element to consider in adult learning. It is vital to provide an environment that encourages learners to pay attention to their learning activities. Concepts, sequences, and formats should be attractive so that they compete effectively with other demanding thoughts in an adult’s life (Yelich & Conceição, 2015).

Notably, adults have a broader experience base in which new skills, ideas, and knowledge can be attached (Yelich & Conceição, 2015). A wider base of experience among adults allows them to incorporate learning experience with much fuller and richer meaning compared to young people (Yelich & Conceição, 2015). It is upon the instructor to help learners to define the relationship between the new and old experience to facilitate deeper and permanent understanding.

Notably, adult students are inspired to learn when there is a great need to acquire new skills and ideas. In their learning experience, adults want to know the importance of the instructions in their lives. Adult’s orientation or teaching is based on their work or life; therefore, instructors should consider work and life-related situations (Youde, 2019).

Grownups have different reasons concerning education; for instance, some enrolled to improve their skills and knowledge to get better payment or ascent into managerial positions (Youde, 2019). It is crucial for the instructor to appeal to their interests and motivation to remain relevant throughout the course (Youde, 2019).

Failure to address their area of concern in the learning environment, their motivation to learn reduces drastically (Youde, 2019). There is a need to improve motivation by instructors through the establishment of strong instructional goals as well as learning activities, which supports and encourage learners’ interests.

Workplace diversity implies intentional employment of individuals with varying race, education level, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. Diversity in the workplace is important because it enhances the employees’ creativity and the performance of the organization (Putman et al., 2016). Moreover, workers with different backgrounds bring different experiences and the perspective that lead to creativity (Putman et al., 2016).

Many companies globally are embracing the idea of diversity and inclusion in their workplaces. Additionally, numerous countries worldwide have enacted laws that prohibit discrimination and exclusion of employees from workplace benefits and activities (Putman et al., 2016). It is important to promote a diverse workforce to encourage compliance with employment laws.

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It is worth noting that employers who promote the training of their employees as far as cultural diversity is concerned achieve significant benefits in their companies (Putman et al., 2016). Education is also important in the workplace because it assists in improving employees’ relations, ethics, customer service, and the ability to manage and interact from different perspectives.

Ethics in workplaces have direct impacts on how different workers relate with one another in an organization. Education on diversity helps not only the employers but also the employees on the importance of embracing other cultures in the company (Putman et al., 2016). In addition to this, diversity training focuses on how various cultural values and principles are demonstrated (Putman et al., 2016).

Education in the workplace enables employees to understand ideas and others’ points of view, therefore promoting a supportive environment (Putman et al., 2016). Furthermore, understanding diversity among the employees helps in building teamwork, which is necessary for improving output (Putman et al., 2016). When employees feel respected and appreciated in their different working places irrespective of their age, education, gender, or race, they give their best to the company.

Education is also key to supporting customer service and relations. Every organization or company has the ambition to satisfy the needs and the expectations of its customers (Lawson & Hughes, 2020). Additionally, the market is composed of different people with different beliefs and cultures, which is crucial for organizations to appreciate (Lawson & Hughes, 2020).

Firms are aiming to provide quality services across diverse cultures, and to achieve the objective; workers need to have a clear understanding of diversity to behave appropriately (Lawson & Hughes, 2020). Diversity training assists employees in understanding numerous barriers that affect customer relations in a diverse market and improving communication between business and their clients.

In workplaces, education helps supervisors to communicate effectively with persons from different cultural backgrounds. Notably, supervisors are tasked with the role of managing the diverse perspective of customers as well as the workers (Lawson & Hughes, 2020). Furthermore, it is the duty of managers to treat people under their leadership equally; however, without proper education, they fail to enhance effective communication in a diverse workplace (Lawson & Hughes, 2020).

It is necessary for the managers to acquire adequate skills needed to establish a good atmosphere where people with a different experience or diverse work. Training is key in helping managers to achieve the necessary knowledge and skills to relate well with all team members (Lawson & Hughes, 2020). Education also allows supervisors to promote understanding among employees by showing a good example and embrace different views or opinion in workplaces.

Employees need education to understand cultural diversity for the purposes of eliminating stereotypes and judgments. Notably, employees may hold different opinions concerning their co-workers (Lawson & Hughes, 2020). However, with good education and diversity training, they are likely to recognize and avoid certain behaviors that can make the working environment hostile to others (Lawson & Hughes, 2020). Education activities concerning cultural variations equip employees with a high level of understanding concerning different cultures they may not have experienced.

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In conclusion, adult learning is based on the notion that they are in full charge of their own learning process. In addition to this, adults need a learning environment that helps them to be active participants throughout the instructional process to gain expertise and concentrate. It is important to understand their interests and needs before designing the instructional process and methods that are relevant to their lives.

A good educator provides an opportunity for adult learners to use their experience, knowledge, and skills and connect them to new learning experiences. Additionally, education is critical in a diverse workplace because it promotes understanding of different ideas, cultures, and views, hence establishing a conducive environment for workers, customers, and employers.

References

Lawson, S., & Hughes, C. (2020). Proposing a diversity intelligence training framework for leaders and managers to attract, maintain, and balance mature workers. Strategies for Attracting, Maintaining, and Balancing A Mature Workforce, 1-27. Web.

Putman, H., Hansen, M., Walsh, K., & Quintero, D. (2016). High hopes and harsh realities: The real challenges to building a diverse workforce. Brookings Institution. Web.

Rothes, A., Lemos, M., & Gonçalves, T. (2016). Motivational profiles of adult learners. Adult Education Quarterly, 67(1), 3-29. Web.

Smith, S. P. (2017). Adult learners: Effective training methods. Professional safety, 62(12), 22-25. Web.

Yelich Biniecki, S., & Conceição, S. (2015). Using concept maps to engage adult learners in critical analysis. Adult Learning, 27(2), 51-59. Web.

Youde, A. (2019). I don’t need peer support: Effective tutoring in blended learning environments for part-time, adult learners. Higher Education Research & Development, 39(5), 1040-1054. Web.

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