Children attend school because they must. Adults return to school because they choose to learn and grow. The difference between force and choice makes a critical difference in students’ motivation and success. Knowing education will contribute to their advancement at work and in the community, adult students dedicate full attention and strict self-discipline to their studies. Naturally, determination influences adult learning because adults continue at difficult tasks and master complicated skills in spite of frustration. Adult learning advances as students understand many paths lead to the same intellectual destinations.
Adults learning also benefit from their advanced “meta-cognitive” capacities: Standing apart from and reflecting on their own problem solving processes, adults become self-conscious about how and why they think and learn. By approaching their intellectual strengths and weaknesses, adults take command of their studies and their adult learning takes them well beyond barriers and limits they once imagined.