An adult learner, or more commonly, a mature student, is a person who is older and is involved in forms of learning. Adult learners fall in a specific criteria of being experienced, and do not always have a high school diploma. Many of the adult learners go back to school to finish a degree, or earn a new one. In 1967, Knowles made use of the term "androgogy" to explain his theory of adult education. Then after consulting with Merriam-Webster, he corrected the spelling of the term to "andragogy" and continued to make use of the term to explain his multiple ideas about adult learning.
Members of a college class who are far older than the rest of the students. These old-enough-to-be-your-parents aged classmates typically sit in the front of the class, arrive drastically early with noisome big-gulp sized iced coffees and tend to ask belaboring and basic questions. Due to mass layoffs and a degree-demanding job market, these masses of Baby Boomers opt to return to college. Adult learners are known by a wide variety of names — including non-traditional students, adult students, returning adults, adult returners, mature learners and many more — and they have an even wider variety of cultural and educational backgrounds, abilities, responsibilities and experiences.
Adult Learners in Higher Education. Higher education institutions define adults by using chronological age and additional factors such as delayed post-secondary enrollment, part-time attendance, full-time work while enrolled, financial independence, single parenthood, military service, and lack of a standard high school diploma. The.