In our last post, we started to learn about the forgetting curve. It’s OK if you have already forgotten about it – we know Ebbinghaus’s theory is always working against us. Here is the good point… We can put strategies in place to combat our inherent forgetting ability. Strategies, the forgetting curve, and learning are all connected through the theory of adult learning.

Andragogy (anne-dra-goh-gee) – It’s a bit of a tongue twister, but it is the overarching theory of how and why adults learn. Essentially, it is the fancy way of saying adult learning theory. Malcolm Knowles developed six-core functions that adults need to learn and retain information. We have summarised them below:

1. Tell me why
We want to know the why and the reason behind our learning. It’s important for us to be able to predict how we will feel when we accomplish something or achieve a goal.

2. Let me experience it
We want to be hands-on and learn from our mistakes. Trial and error. We can read content forever, but until we have the opportunity and safety to apply something, it never really sticks – like muscle memory.

3. You do you, I’ll do me
We need to have autonomy over our choices and action tasks in a way that suits our drivers and needs. When we have the freedom to choose our experiences in a way that suits our needs best, we are more likely to apply that learning over a longer period.

4. How will I use this?
What is the real-time relevance and application? We learn best when we can apply it straight away. Have you ever gone to a conference and heard of a new framework that’s exciting but not relevant to your current role? What happens? You forget about it and it goes into the back catalogue of ‘try this later.’ Relevance and time are key!

5. What am I trying to achieve?
When we have the context of solving an issue, the learning application is increased. We all have an innate need to fix things. Let me say this again CONTEXT IS KING. Solution-focus application means higher retention of learning. So, less content, more solution outcomes.

6. You want me to do what?
When we are intrinsically motivated to do something we are more likely to stick with it and achieve it! Think about it, if you are forced to do something, it’s less likely you will continue it after the session. Do not force people onto a course or bribe them. It needs to be a joint venture in order for learning success.

We do things differently here at Red Wolf Group and we take adult learning seriously. Our goal is to create high-performing teams that become self-sufficient. If you would like to learn more contact us today!