Factors Influencing Adults Returning To Learning
There are numerous factors which motivate adult learning and sometimes it’s a combination of issues which lead them to make that decision. If you’ve been out of education for a long time, you will have thought long and hard before reaching the decision to go back to learning as it can seem quite a daunting prospect, especially if there are any financial implications and additional commitments you need to take into consideration. However, should you decide to go ahead, it’s likely that your reasons for doing so will include one or more of the following factors.
The Primary Determining Factors Which Influence Adult Learning
- Personal advancement - this is the most common reason given for adults who want to learn. It can encompass the opportunity to gain promotion in your current workplace and, therefore, to increase your income. It can facilitate a career change or you may be motivated by keeping ahead of competitors by taking a particular course. And, if you’re out of work, it can often provide the stepping stone to getting back on the job ladder
- Self-improvement - learning will increase your knowledge which, for many, will also improve your self-confidence. Your self-esteem will go up as a result of proving your abilities in completing a course successfully
- Stimulation and escape - learning in itself is an opportunity to break free from any rut you might have found yourself in. You may have become bored with your current routine, either within your personal or professional life (or both), and learning will often be the kick-start you’ve been looking for to motivate yourself again and can also offer an ‘escape’ from the daily humdrum which you might feel you’re experiencing
- Increasing your social relationships - whether you have a number of good, loyal friends or you feel you’ve become a bit isolated, many adults choose to return to learn as it will widen their social network in terms of creating new, additional friendships or will offer them the possibility of making new friends with whom they might share some common ground
- External influences - sometimes you’ll find adults who would not otherwise necessarily choose to return to learn but are doing so as it’s expected of them by others. By this, it means that it could be your employer who requires you to go on a course or, in some cases, if you’ve been unemployed for quite some time, it may be that you’re asked to choose a course of learning in order to remain eligible to continue to receive state benefits
- Cognitive interest - many adults choose to return to learn simply because they have an enquiring mind and a mental ‘thirst’ to absorb more knowledge about a particular subject they are interest in. This would also include people who wish to pursue a particular hobby but need to understand more about it first and also those who may have undergone lifestyle changes. A good example here would be retirees who are looking for something to fill their time in order to make their lives more meaningful.
There may be other reasons too why adults are motivated to return to learn. In order to get the best out of the experience, however, it’s important to establish your own motivation behind your decision and it’s also fundamental that tutors also understand your motivations in order that they can tailor materials and classes to get the best out of you.