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Teaching and Supporting Adult Learners

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Tags: Education, Further Education

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Teaching and Supporting Adult Learners

AUTHOR : By Jackie Scruton and Belinda Ferguson Edited by Susan Wallace

ISBN : 9781909682139

Publication : Jun 19, 2014

Extent : 120 pgs

ISBN : 9781909682146

Publication : Jun 19, 2014

Extent : 120 pgs

ISBN : 9781909682153

Publication : Jun 19, 2014

Extent : 120 pgs

ISBN : 9781909682160

Publication : Jun 19, 2014

Extent : 120 pgs


An accessible and up to date text on teaching and supporting adult learners, aimed at both student teachers and experienced practitioners. It explores teaching adult learners within a traditional further education (FE) context but also working with those adult learners on Higher Education (HE) courses taught within FE.

Adult learners have a distinct set of needs and challenges which can include issues of self confidence, fear of technology, time management and financial constraints, and which may not always be fully recognised by educational practitioners or institutions. Teachers and student stories are used throughout this book to analyse learner needs and motivations, highlight possible barriers to learning and explore strategies for support.

This publication enables those teaching adult learners to gain an understanding of the difficulties that students may experience while developing their own professional practice in order to create effective, focused and inclusive teaching strategies for this group.


Introduction: Why we have written the book and who we are ? How to use the book.

Part One; Understanding your learners

Chapter one:  Contextualisation

Chapter two: Internal motivation

Chapter Three: External motivation

 Chapter Four: Student and teacher stories

Part Two: Inclusive strategies to create a supportive learning experience

Chapter Five: Practicalities: the nuts and bolts of teaching

Chapter Six: Technologies : how they can help, how they can hinder.

Chapter Seven:Building relationships

Part Three: Pulling it all together

Chapter Eight: Detailed scenarios for analysis which will encompass all the above content

Glossary of terms eg. some definitions of inclusion, on-line learning, etc




Sue Wallace is the Professor of Continuing Education at Nottingham Trent University. Her particular interest is in mentoring and the ways in which a successful mentoring relationship can support personal and professional development. She has researched and published extensively on education, training and management of behaviour, and is a popular keynote speaker at conferences.

Jackie Scruton is a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, and part of her role is to support adult learners on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She has taught adult learners in a range of settings and on courses, such as Basic Skills and Degree programmes. She has a particular interest in working with learners for whom inclusion may be an issue, this includes, amongst others, adult learners  This interest was developed as a result of not only working with such learners but also from her experience of ‘finding’ education later in life. 

Belinda Feruson is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Nottingham Trent University,currently teaching on part-time degrees and teacher training courses and previously having taught in FE for 10 years on professional courses and initial teacher training. She has worked with adult learners throughout her career, and has seen the challenges and pressures they face along with the pleasure of success and the opportunities created. As a former mature, post-graduate student she has an empathy for students who find themselves juggling childcare and work with their studies. 

Publication Overview

Your Reviews on this book

Great, great book. What I like about the book is that it is clearly written, easy to read and very practical.  Good case studies to help those who are planning to teach adults.  Good explanations given of key terms, topic and good exercises for reader to try.

Alicia Hawkes, Totton College

Excellent critical thinking activities which assists both the lecturer and adult learner!  The case studies at the end are a bonus and can be used in a variety of ways.

Julie Old, Havering College

This book is exceptionally accessible. It is organised, written and illustrated in ways that support the reader in understanding the cornerstones of effective teaching for adult learners. The writers provide case studies drawn from their own extensive experiences bringing credibility and realism to the work. The book also reflects an up to date perspective. For example, it explores technology enhanced learning in a well-informed way. Underpinning this text is deep respect for adult learners and what they bring to the learning experience. The authors are careful to emphasise the importance of empathy in being an effective teacher. They also lead readers to appreciate the diverse perspectives, experiences and learner states of mature learners. Newly qualified, experienced and trainee teachers of further and higher education will find the book a useful practical tool for understanding and developing their pedagogy. Teacher training providers will also find this book extremely useful since it provides practical activities designed to support critical thinking and reflection. Overall, this book is a timely, high quality contribution to the field. I will definitely be using it with and recommending it to the PGCHE and PGCFE students I work with.

Dr Deborah Robinson, University of Derby
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