Adults are problem centered, not subject-centered and desire immediate, not postponed application of the knowledge learned” (53)
PIDP 3100

Lorna McFadden


This quote makes me think how adults want immediate resolution to their issue. They don’t what to know the “why” just the “how”, fix it and be done! Adults don’t want the details of the problem but a logical explanation to apply skills to get immediate results. We are pragmatic for the most part. That’s why I chose this statement, just give me the bottom line first then if there is time and I’m still interested Ill figure out the rest. As adults we have other commitments in life, and not the time to be subject centered. There are some who are motivated to pursue this type of knowledge, and those adults need to be recognised so we as instructors can adapt to their learning.

When it comes to teaching in relation to this quote, I need to keep my instruction relevant to my students so they can apply it right away. I like the way the Certified Dental Assistants Program is set up where I am teaching. They do theory one day and clinical the next. Whatever they are teaching is practiced the next day. Then reviewed, discussed in another theory class and then practiced again and again. It really fits with this quote how there is no delay to applying the knowledge learned. I also have to respect the course of learning that takes place for my students. When I see them struggle with applying a skill I cannot step in and do it for them, I have to let them figure it out themselves. I’m not doing them any favors but hindering their experience of critical thinking and problem solving.

My AHA moment when I read it was “HEY THAT’S ME”! I just want the facts! More times than not at work my boss gives me these long winded explanations about diagnosis and treatments concerning our dental procedures. I have to cut him off and tell him to give me the information that’s applicable to me, and that’s it! That’s all I need to know. As an adult educator I need to recognise who is problem and who is subject centered and how to accommodate my teaching for them. Not expect or presume everyone is like me being problem centered. Key insight from this quote for me is to make the learning a positive and fun experience. When I use critical thinking skills to problem solve I find it’s so rewarding, I want to convey that to my students.

DECISIONAL: How has this influenced my teaching?
I appreciate the fact that my CDA program is already designed to promote problem centered learning. I know that Okanagan College is geared to learner centered teaching and I get to start and pursue my new teaching career in an environment that honors these values. I am so new to teaching and still finding my way that I will be problem solving with my teaching skills as they are learning about dental assisting. This quote makes me realise that what I teach is just as important as how I teach.

Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2014). Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice. San Francisco, CA: Joseey-Bass.

Draves, William, fourth Edition, (2014) How To Teach Adults, LERN Books, Wisconsin