Do adults learn in the same way as children?

When we think about how we learn, it is really interesting to know that adults learn in different ways to children. We are not going to go into the theory of adult learning here, but what we are going to do is explain some of the differences, so that when you look at commissioning your training, or choosing a course to study, you have a basic understanding of what you are looking for, and can ask providers questions about how they design their training with adult learners in mind.

At TNTA, all of our training is designed using adult learning theory.


  • Children learn better with rules and boundaries in place. This means that they have set break and lunchtimes, a set curriculum and very clear guidelines on what will be taught and when.
  • Children typically have no choice but to attend school, so can lose enthusiasm if they don’t enjoy what they are being taught.
  • Teachers have the authority in the classroom, and play a central role in delivering knowledge through a set curriculum.


  • Adults seek out continuous learning based on interests, wants and needs. This is why the course selection at TNTA is so good for adult learners. We have a wide range of courses in a variety of different subject areas. This means that our learners can chose subject areas that they are interested in and enhances their skills in their chosen rea of employment.
  • Adults bring with them an existing knowledge base. Our courses offer additional resources, different websites, videos and podcasts, which means that depending what existing knowledge a learner has, depends on what they choose to access in addition to the standard course materials. Our courses allow learners to bespoke their learning to a level that suits them (in addition to the basic course content).
  • It’s more beneficial to let adults organise themselves and work at a pace that suits them. This is why our e-learning is so good! Learners can log onto the system 24/7 at a time that suits them. They can work at their own pace, take their time and log in and out of the system at their leisure, this means that they can fit learning around other responsibilities.
  • Adults also want to know the outcome of any learning activity (what’s in it for me!). This is why at TNTA all of our courses have detailed information outlining what the course covers. They also have a set of learning outcomes, so that anyone thinking of doing a course with us knows exactly what the courses covers and what they will get at the end of it.

And finally, all courses are CPD certified, so as well as gaining valuable knowledge that can be transferred into practice, there is a CPD benefit as well, a win, win scenario for everyone.

My passion is for learning, any age, anywhere, anytime. That is why I offer Interactive E-learning, Face to Face training, Microsoft Teams/Zoom training and consultancy services. Learning should be easy to organise, and more importantly fun!

The world is moving so fast these days, especially where technology is concerned, everything is mobile, what would we do without our mobile phones and tablets? Learning takes place every day, whether it’s from an article we read, an app we download or a conversation we have going about our everyday lives. We are always learning and developing.

Author: Maxine Clark

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