PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS TO LIFE-LONG LEARNING AND ADULT EDUCATION
, A. Simou2
1National & Kapodestrian University of Athens (GREECE)
2University of Athens, Pedagogical Department of Primary Education (GREECE)
Over the last decades life long learning has become an important field of education as more and more adults all over the world tend to participate in educational programs, either as a personal need to expand their horizons, or due to increasingly demanding circumstances in their work environments. However, it is a common phenomenon for adults to encounter obstacles in them resuming their educational streamline. These obstacles can stem from external factors - such as social and family responsibilities or a program that does not successfully cover their needs or wants – or internal factors, on which we will concentrate.
The internal factors are related to prior educational experiences and established beliefs concerning the form of an efficient way of learning. The participants of a program may have totally different opinions and preferences about how things should be taught or even value differently the curriculum and its educational target. It all comes down to their profile and the way of corresponding to new teaching methods.
Moreover, another internal factor could be stress or anxiety as a result of introducing a person in a new educational environment, especially if the latter consists of people from a wide age variety. For example, an older person might find himself in an awkward position and become self-conscious, when confronted with much younger classmates. In addition, the fear of failure and the resulting criticism is another major barrier among adult trainees, particularly if one has sacrificed a lot of his limited time, when he could be spending it with his family.
Given the fact that, in general, psychological factors are usually much more influential than the external, it is essential that the conditions, under which the educational process is going to take place, will promote and develop communication and cooperation among adults, so that the above obstacles could be overcome.