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Principles of Adult Education

Traditional teaching methods in medicine are gradually being replaced by those based on principles of good practice and effectiveness in the wider world of adult education.

Brookfield (1986) and Knowles (1975) described some of the fundamental principles of adult education.

Adults learn best when they 

  • Are helped reflect on their practice

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses

  • Resolve conflict between educational wants and needs

  • Negotiate their learning objectives

  • Articulate learning outcomes for themselves

  • Analyse how they have learned

  • Agree plans for further development.

Self-directed learning can be defined as

A process that involves taking the initiative with or without the help of others in diagnosing learning needs, identifying resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.

The process of learning can be illustrated as a cycle


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