The Role of the Adult Educator in Eliminating Internal Psychological Barriers in Adult Learning

Education Quarterly Reviews

ISSN 2621-5799

Published: 19 December 2018

The Role of the Adult Educator in Eliminating Internal Psychological Barriers in Adult Learning

Maria Pastogianni, Marios Koutsoukos

Hospital “Saint Paul,” School of Pedagogical and Technological Education, ASPETE

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The aim of this research is to examine, on the one hand, the internal learning barriers for adults that are derived from their emotions about their educational programme, and on the other, the role of the adult educator in eliminating these obstacles. Emotions are integrally linked to the learning process and influence the successful outcome of educational goals. As a result of the steadily increasing number of lifelong learning educational programmes, research into the emotions of adult learners is valuable as they differ significantly to those of younger students. At the same time, the role of the adult educator cannot be merely to transmit knowledge, but must also promote and motivate learning. The sample consisted of 102 adults attending either postgraduate programmes or training sessions during the time of the study. The quantitative data collection comprised 92 questionnaires, while the qualitative consisted of 10 semi-structured individual interviews. In this study mixed method design was used, where quantitative and qualitative methods were implemented for triangulation of the results. The research findings indicate that although adult learners do experience feelings of anxiety, insecurity, worry and frustration during their studies, most times, these negative emotions are not so intense as to impede study completion because motivation is a much stronger factor. Regarding adult learners’ perception of the role of the adult educator, the findings show discrepancy between what they expect from the instructor and what the instructor is actually doing. The adult learners wanted the instructor to create a positive communication climate and learning environment, adapt the level of teaching to their experiences and abilities, encourage them, employ active participatory learning techniques, as well as have emotional intelligence and express empathy.


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