I’ve become very curious about the generational differences that exist in learning. I teach business fundamentals and entrepreneurship to both youth and adults. In one week I was instructing ages from six to sixty!
An individuals motivation is based on what important to them but also includes generational and societal influences and perhaps even pressure. I think that one of the challenges when learning isn’t self directed is that you will become beholden to the older generation (parents, profs, bosses) to decide whats important. Sometimes this isn’t such a bad thing and they can provide valuable direction and guidance. Thanks to home economics I can certainly fend for myself; although if you ask me to sew that apron or whittle that bowl I might be a challenged.
Despite the psychological barriers that adults have to their learning they are increasingly seeking out learning opportunities to fill the gaps. In the article ‘It’s Like Riding a Bike’ Means Nothing to These Adults Trying to Learn adults are learning to ride a bike for the first time. The article highlights for me that learning is very personal and cant be stereotyped, or aged.
It does make me wonder about the new push to have coding be introduced into school curriculums. Preparing the next generation for jobs that don’t currently exist is a challenge. I wonder though, is it more important than learning how to cook …or ride a bike?