Adult Learners Aren’t Blank Slates

February 27, 2017 in Greg Owen-Boger, Posts for Buyers, Talent Development, Training, Video

In this video, produced by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin’s VP, reminds us to acknowledge our learners’ past experiences.

Greg here with Turpin Communication. I think that one of the most important concepts that we need to understand for those of us in talent development is that adult learners are not blank slates. They have a lot of experience under their belt, a lot of successes, maybe a few failures. And they may be working with incomplete or inaccurate information. So, for us, it’s important to acknowledge this upfront. Doing so gives your learners’ peace of mind and it lets them know that you really appreciate their skill level. So whenever you work with adult learners, make sure that you acknowledge their skill level, their experience upfront, and that you’re not going to start from scratch, which they could perceive as a waste of their time.

Adult Learners Often Need to Unlearn Before Learning

January 21, 2013 in Author, Facilitation, Greg Owen-Boger, Myths Debunked, Presentation, Talent Development, Training

greg 200x300If you’ve known us and our work here at Turpin Communication for any period of time, you know that we spend a great deal of time debunking myths and helping people unlearn unhelpful (and sometimes harmful) ideas about presenting, facilitating, and training.

You need only visit our blog section on Myths Debunked to get a good understanding of where we stand on old ideas about not reading your slides, never turning your back to your audience, looking over peoples’ heads, and the use of ice breakers (just to name a few).

This is why I was excited to see this article by Jane Bozarth called “Nuts & Bolts: Unlearning” on the Learning Solutions Magazine blog. Seems we’re not the only ones helping our clients unlearn.

Jane is considered to be one of the major thought leaders in the Workplace Learning & Performance industry. I’ve had the pleasure of attending her sessions at conferences. Her content is always fresh and she’s always genuine. Here’s her article’s opening sentences. I hope you read the rest. She’s spot on.

One of the givens in working with adult learners is the importance of helping them access prior knowledge and building on what they already know. But what if that prior knowledge is no longer useful, or the skills no longer applicable, or it was never very accurate in the first place?

Read the entire article.

What do you need to unlearn? What can you help others unlearn? Let us know in the comments below.

By Greg Owen-Boger, VP and Trainer at Turpin Communication