Developing skills in adult learners is as rewarding as it is challenging.
Children are typically eager to learn by doing. They do not fear stumbling along the learning journey. Almost intuitively, they realise that imperfection is illusive, and that learning is a process. Adults, especially those in need of foundational learning, seem to fear failure to the detriment of their enjoyment of the journey.
In the Short Course Faculty, we believe that success, like happiness, is an inside job.
Mathematics arguably affords learners of all ages useful skills. The avid student knows that regular practice, some memorisation, and ample curiosity culminate to unearth enjoyment, and eventually mastery.
Math and Emotional Intelligence
Traditional beliefs centred around intelligence or innate proclivity as requisites for success in math. These ideas often meant that certain people were excluded from even hoping to exercise their potential in the subject. Often, these rejected groups were mostly females, those living with a disability and victims of poverty. Mathematics has very little to do with intelligence, gender or social standing, but everything to do with emotional intelligence.
Often, the learners who are not excelling in math are usually those who are quick to anger, impatient with themselves, the process and often the learning content or facilitator. These learners tend to be less curious and more judgemental. They seem to limit their creativity and stifle their divergent thinking. They appear more focussed on the outcome or final answer, and not the process.
Critical Thinking Skills
Developing systems thinking and sharpening critical thinking skills build higher order thinking. Exercising metacognition with the adult learner invites inquiry into emotional intelligence – the skills they need to work things out in the math learning materials, and more importantly, in life. Math is so much more than arithmetic and spatial reasoning. It is a window through which the learner can better see themself, make informed choices, reflect more deeply, and hopefully have fun.
We understand that math may have a negative reputation. For this reason, our Maths Fundamental NQF 4 course, considers the needs of adult learners and activates their curiosity in applying the basic mathematical principles that inform their problem-solving and decision-making.
We are passionate about designing fun and engaging courses and learning experiences in the Short Course faculty. This robust short course is freely available here. Students who need the credits to boost their learning and development can opt to pay for the assessment.