One of the largest, most significant problems in adult education and learning is apathy. Apathy can be defined as a lack of interest in activities or interaction, which I believe is greatly seen throughout a school day. Students from all age groups suffer from a lack of interest in the material that they are being taught. However, this problem seems to be considerably more prevalent among adult learners. Researchers have pointed out many causes behind apathy in the classroom, ranging from the expectation to achieve high grades to a lack of communication between teachers and students. Many teachers will use the same methods during their entire career, creating an outdated teaching method which is the root of the problem. If teachers and students worked together they could open a variety of new doors in learning, such as updated ways to communicate in the classroom which will make learning more relevant and enjoyable for everyone.
In many academic settings, teachers are viewed as authority figures. Students are often expected to sit quietly and adsorb the information the teacher is providing, despite if there is no interest in the topic or how the teacher is presenting it to the class. Because of this, students create a lack of interest in what they are learning and merely memorize what is required of them to achieve desirable grades. This practice is detrimental to students because they are not actually retaining any of the information being presented to them. Simple memorization of material is an ongoing problem with adult learners, with vital deep level learning failing to take place, creating apathy to be rampant in adult learning. With many students finding a lack of interest in their education, teachers and educators must adapt to different strategies to educate students. Presenting material in a different, more interesting way to engage adult learners.
Additionally, teachers, educators and academic institutions must realize that learning needs to become more individualized. Every student is different, and therefore each student learns differently. It is unfair and unproductive to continue the practice of one standard method of teaching and learning, because these practices contribute greatly to the apathy and general disinterest of adult students. It is clear that adult student’s apathy goes hand-in-hand with the inability of students and educators to communicate and work together effectively, and these practices are overwhelmingly detrimental to conducive learning.
Monotonous, repetitive memorization of topics and subjects is one of the largest roadblocks adult students face in continuing their education. Paulo Freire, an author and researcher spent an extensive period of time researching this ongoing problem. He referred to this as the “banking” concept of education. In Freire’s essay “The Banking Concept of Education”, he states that “education is suffering from narration sickness” (Freire 240), criticizing the traditional method of...