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Approaches to Learning

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In Pedagogic approach to learning the teacher has total control over the teaching-learning process and assumes full responsibility for what, when, and how learning takes place. It is a traditional approach to learning and mostly used and great for children/young clients (Miller & Stoeckel, 2016 p.134). Malcolm Knowles posited that adults learn differently from children, which makes the pedagogic approach inappropriate for adults. Unlike in pedagogic approach where the teacher assumes full responsibility, Andragogic approach sees the adult as a self-directed learner that is expected to take responsibility for their own decisions. The adult learner needs to know/understand what (material) and why (value) they need to learn something (p. 149-150). The teaching-learning process should be task-oriented and self-directed allowing learners to discover things for themselves while guidance is provided (p.151).

1. Motivation to Learn: This assumption further emphasizes the differences between an adult and child learner. While a child/young learner is motivated by external approval from the teacher, an adult is motivated by life goals and internal drive to succeed/achieve (p.157). Children are motivated to keep learning when they receive rewards and positive reinforcement like “good job”, “great work”, “smiley faces”, “digging for treasures” from their teachers. Young learners rely on approval from their teachers, that is why it is not uncommon to hear kids say “my teacher said this or that” because they see the teacher as the sole authority when it comes to learning anything. Positive reinforcements/feedbacks also works great with adults but differs in its context. No amount of “good job” or “kudos” a teacher dishes out will bring about a positive result unless the adult learner values the materials to be learned, see that it aligns to their life goals, desire for self-improvement and continued growth (p.157).

2. Teaching strategies: There are several teaching strategies which can be used by nurse educators depending on individual learners as everyone learn and process information differently. Some strategies include; group discussion, case studies, role-playing, Simulation gaming, audio, visuals,

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