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Understanding Adults as Learners

by Nancy P. Alexander
November/December 1999
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/understanding-adults-as-learners/5013082/

As center directors deal with staff turnover and retention, they often find they must wear another hat - that of trainer. Directors are increasingly spending more of their busy days providing guidance and support to staff who are learning new skills and methods of working with children.

No one expects to learn to play tennis by simply reading a manual. No one expects to be a satisfactory tennis player by having someone tell them how. Regardless of how much one reads about tennis or how much someone is told, no one can be a proficient player without hands-on experience. Learning to play tennis requires heading out to the courts with a racket and ball, practicing with an experienced player, and getting feedback. Otherwise, one will not master the skills necessary to learn to play the game.

We readily recognize the necessity of actual experience in children's learning and in adults learning motor skills. But do we always recognize the value of the hands-on learning that is necessary for child care centers to run smoothly? Or do we rely too much on reading and telling?

How do we ensure that the staff in our programs benefit from the training we offer? What are the best ...

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