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Motivating Adults to Learn

by Karen Miller
January/February 2002
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/motivating-adults-to-learn/5014376/

"I pay for them to go to all kinds of training, but getting them to implement what they've learned is a real challenge."

One of our e-mail network members expressed difficulty in motivating some experienced infant teachers to keep on learning. They were resistant to new ideas and the concept of curriculum for infants, in spite of several meetings and the advice of consultants. Of course, this is not an isolated situation. It doesn't matter if the new idea is a handwash-ing technique, a way to interact with parents, a method for observing and recording, or curriculum practices, staff sometimes resist change. Our network members shared many ideas for making learning a norm in your program.

Causes of Resistance

Understanding the basis of the reluctance to learn new things helps us think of ways to overcome it.

• Failure to see the need. Many centers and state regulations require ongoing education. Linda Gillespie says staff may wonder why they need to learn something and how it applies to their work and life. When we can't make that connection, it's hard to motivate others. Adult learners have to feel it's worth their while. This is where you can talk about research studies, show ...

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