Teaching Today publishes innovative teaching tips on a weekly basis. Written with the busy teacher in mind, each tip is concise, practical and easy to implement in the classroom right away. Topics covered in Teaching Today are classroom management, career development, high stakes testing, instruction and planning, parental involvement, reading in the content areas, using technology in the classroom, and portfolio development. Teaching Today also offers free weekly downloads that correspond to the tips. Our free downloads make implementing the teaching tips even easier. Teaching Today provides educational resources for teachers looking for everyday solutions to the challenges of the classroom.
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Teaching Today - This Week's Tips Teaching Today - This Week's Tips

This Week's Topic

Adult Learners and Curriculum Design
Although there are similarities between teaching traditional students and returning adults, there also are differences. Adult learners re-enter college for different reasons, and many learn differently than traditional students do. This week’s tips help you with curriculum design for and instruction of adult learners.

This Week's Tips

Create a Physically Pleasing Learning Environment (Monday)
Adults benefit from a learning environment that is physically comfortable. Ask to be in an aesthetically pleasing classroom with an adequate heating or cooling system. Provide a 10-minute break every 60 to 90 minutes, and a stretch break for two minutes as necessary.

Create a Psychologically Pleasing Learning Environment (Tuesday)
Adults need to feel psychologically comfortable in order to learn. They bring expectations into the classroom, many of which are unpleasant experiences from when they were traditional students. To help students feel more comfortable: Clarify expectations before beginning new content. Use dialogue between students to encourage an exchange of life experiences. Respect and protect every student’s opinion by keeping any disagreements between students civil.

Writing the Curriculum (Wednesday)
Adult learners prefer courses that pertain to their real-life experiences. In order to use new information, adults need to be able to integrate the new knowledge with current knowledge and experiences. Try these tips when writing your curriculum: Build in common experiences your students can relate to, and also provide instruction that pushes students to stretch beyond their current comfort level. Design your course to accept different viewpoints from adults in different stages of life.

Motivating Adult Learners (Thursday)
Adults generally are self-motivated. Many seek out higher education opportunities in response to life-changing events, such as promotions, job loss, or divorce. By recognizing that your students may be going through a life-changing situation, you can aid their learning. Remember the following: Increase or maintain students’ self-esteem. Since learning often is a means to an end, not the end itself, focus on your students' goals. Adults need learning that will help them cope with their life transition.

Giving Up Control (Friday)
Instructors certainly must have some control over the class; however, for adult learners, the most successful instructors are those who don’t try to hold strict control over the students. By thinking in terms of facilitating rather than straight lecturing, you’ll create a comfortable learning environment for your students. Check out the Download Depot this week, and try these tips: Balance your lectures with debate, discussion, and sharing of relevant student experiences. Do not be threatened by challenges from students.

Download your free Motivation and Experience Review today!

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