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Adult learning refers to education, courses and training that is designed for adults. It can also be defined as the provision of instructed learning events for adults who usually act or who have acted in working life.

Adult education may be arranged with specific individuals in mind. Alternatively, it may be sourced by the adult directly.

This blog post explains the benefits of adult learning and how it can help students achieve their potential.

What are the benefits of adult learning?

Through adult education people will have an opportunity to continually learn and develop their skills and capacities.

Adult learning is often based online. This provides adults with flexibility which they need to continue to work full-time and therefore work at their own pace. Online learning also means information can be distributed quicker and more efficiently.

Learning something new stimulates the brain. By taking on additional learning, students can become smarter and more creative. It also reduces the chances of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia in later life.

It allows you to expand your professional horizons. It presents you with an opportunity to increase salary, earn a promotion or change your career or job role. By becoming better educated it allows you to become more accepting of new ideas, different cultures, beliefs and values.

Confidence and happiness can also be improved by expanding your learning potential. By stepping out of your comfort zone, boosting your skillset and increasing your knowledge, you will increase your confidence. It can give you belief to speak up in meetings, put ideas forward and even ask for promotions. Learning as an adult is both challenging and exciting. It can be rewarding too, helping you to alleviate boredom to inspire you to succeed.

When a child sees an adult in their life learning something new it has a positive effect on them. This will encourage them to emulate you and follow your lead when learning. You have the opportunity to pass your passion for learning onto your children and improve their chances of success at school.

Adult learning also benefits the economy, your communities and your country.

Is it better to learn as an adult than as a child?

Adults have a bank of knowledge from life or work experience which can help when they return to the classroom.

As an adult you’re also more likely to view teachers and professors as peers and feel less intimidated by them.

Further, adults starting new or returning to the classroom may have greater motivation. According to SunMyke “studies have shown that 80% of adult students graduate as compared to a 50% average graduation rate among the traditional students.” 

Find out more here.

Can adult learning positively effect your health?

According to the Government Office for Science it has been shown that adult learning fosters: a sense of identity, an ability to cope and a feeling of purpose in life; a greater level of wellbeing, especially in older adults; an increase in life satisfaction; and positive changes in mental wellbeing and a sense of purpose.

 Longitudinal studies have shown that adult learning is linked with giving up smoking, the amount of exercise taken and life satisfaction; an increase in the probability of using cervical screening, better nutrition, lower risk of coronary heart disease (especially those with the fewest qualifications at the time of leaving school) and a reduction in drug abuse.

Can adult learning effect employment potential?

The Government also states that adult learning can effect employment and the workplace at a number of levels.

At the individual level, there are gains from learning and skills acquisition for seeking, getting and keeping a job; increasing earnings; raising aspirations; and job satisfaction. At the organisation level, there are gains in productivity, which are accompanied by higher employee commitment and lower labour turnover. At a national level, there are gains in output, employment levels and tax revenues and a greater acceptance of innovation.

Read more: How adult learning empowers those who take the leap

EDLounge can help with adult learning to support students to reach their potential. Find out more here.

For more information call 01909 568 338.