Adult Vs Adolescent Learning Styles (Dave B.)

Learning Style Comparison Handout
By Dave Bissonette
IM 504

Types of Learning Styles

Styles are applied to learning ( learning styles) in order to organize a framework of the different areas that influence learning such as personality, cognition, motivation, perception, learning, and behavior (Ouellette, 2000).
1) Adult: The definition of an adult is identified by a particular society.
2) Adolescent: The definition of adolescent is a boy or girl developing from a child to maturity.

Adult Learning Style

• Adult learners need to understand why they must learn something.
• Adults are also ready to learn.
• Adult learners are self-motivated to improve one’s situation, whether professionally or privately.
• The curriculum should be designed to be somewhat dynamic, allowing students to have some choice in the direction of their learning.
• Adult learners may have fear of being embarrassed because of their classroom performance (National Institute of Corrections).
• Designing learning activities that require students to share their expertise will help to cultivate a richer learning experience.

Adolescent Learning Style

• They benefit when content is delivered in multiple ways and is appropriate to the learner’s developmental level.
• They benefit when content is relevant to their own lives.
• They benefit when they are allowed to work in groups.
• They benefit when they are given feedback.
• They see value when their personal ideas are recognized and they do not have to fear embarrassment when sharing their ideas.

Similarities Between Learning Styles

• They are both able to draw on their experiences and use them to aid with learning.
• They both value working in groups.
• They both recognize relevance of the topic.
• They both desire feedback.
• They both fear embarrassment whether it is from participation or being judged on their performance.
Although all learners need to be shown respect by the instructor, adults feel they should be treated as equals.


Most, but not all of the learning styles were applicable to both groups of learners.


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