Working with adult learners

HITT Unit 2

HA, 29th August 2009

Work with trainee teachers requires careful thought about the specific needs of adult learners, and the ways in which learning to teach history differs from other kinds of learning. This unit first highlights three important characteristics of teacher trainees as adult learners, and the distinctive challenges presented to them because of where and what they are learning. It then offers four key principles for supporting adult learning and suggests how we might most effectively respond to ‘failing' trainees.

N.B. This unit was produced before the new curriculum and therefore while much of the advice is still useful, there may be some out of date references or links. 

1. The distinctive challenges of learning to teach

  • 1. The distinctive challenges of learning to teach
  • 1.1 Exploring history trainees' preconceptions
  • 1.1 Case Study A: Steve's preconceptions
  • 1.1 Case Study A: Steve's story - support without challenge
  • 1.1 Case Study B: Trish's preconceptions
  • 1.1 Case Study C: Will's preconceptions
  • 1.1 Case Study D: Yvonne's preconceptions
  • 1.1 Case Study E: David's preconceptions
  • 1.1 Case Study F: Yasmin's preconceptions
  • 1.1 Case Study G: Harry's preconceptions
  • 1.1 Case Study G: Harry's story - challenge without support
  • 1.1 Case Study H: Irene's preconceptions
  • 1.2 Getting access to our own trainees' preconceptions
  • 1.3 Promoting good practice while resisting conformity
  • 1.4 Where: adult learners in contexts geared for teaching children
  • 1.5 What: the diversity of teaching expertise

2. Combining support and challenge

  • 2. Combining support and challenge
  • 2.1 Striking a balance
  • 2.2 Recognising that others' ideas are also open to debate

3. Acknowledging the diversity and implications of different trainees� backgrounds

  • 3. Acknowledging the diversity and implications of different trainees' backgrounds
  • 3.1 Recruiting and retaining trainees from minority ethnic backgrounds

4. Legitimising learning

  • 4. Legitimising learning
  • 4.1 Promoting collaborative teaching as a way of learning
  • 4.2 Sustaining trainees' learning
  • 4.3 Engaging in research to create a culture of learning

5. Focusing the learning

  • 5. Focusing the learning
  • 5.1 Choosing a focus

6. Facing up to serious difficulties

  • 6. Facing up to serious difficulties
  • 6.1 Responding to serious difficulties: balancing specific targets with support, and encouragement with evidence.

7. References

  • 7. References

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