“Adults are motivated to learn as they experience needs and interests that learning will satisfy; adults’ orientation to learning is life-centered; experience is the richest source for adults’ learning; adults have a deep need to be self-directing; and individual differences among people increase with age.”

–Knowles, Holton & Swanson, 1998


Hi there fellas! I just finished module 3 of the course, and I am really sorry for my slow phasing since I have lot of things to finish the past few weeks. But anyway, in this module, I learned a lot of things in an adult learner, from andragogy to different adult learning theories and models. However in this blog, I decided to answer two of the given reflection questions. The questions are: How does the process change as you move from stage 1—dependent learner to stage 4—self-directed learner in a particular field/discipline or subject matter, and question about margin, load and power with respect to the adult learning activities that I would wish to pursue.


SSDL Model

SSDL or Staged Self-Directed Learning model presented ways on how teachers can make their students to develop self-directed towards learning. (Grow, 1991) SSDL entails 4 stages of learners with regards to their degree of self-direction towards learning. In stage 1, learners are teacher-dependent to their learning, meaning they view their teachers as the one who will give them the learning and knowledge. Here, the teaching style would be more of authoritarian (with respect to teachers) or coaching style. (Grow, 1991) This can be more of a passive interaction and much like of the banking approach as per Freire (1928, as cited by Grow, 1991). When you move to the next level, which is the stage 2, the learner become interested and are more willing to do assignments that “they can see the purpose of” (Grow, 1991). “These are what most school teachers know as ‘good student’” (Grows, 1991) Here, the teaching style would be more of motivating style. (Grow, 1991) The approach may be “…directive but highly supportive….” (Grow, 1991) The communication in this stage is two-way, meaning there may be an active communication between the student and the teacher. (Grow, 1991) The next stage is stage 3. Here, the “learners [already] have skill and knowledge, and they see themselves as participants in their own education” (Grow, 1991). The learner here is now less dependent as compared with those at stage 1 and 2. Here, the teaching style would be more of facilitation rather than passive coaching and motivation. The learners at this stage are more involve to their learning experiences such as decision-making, project-making and the like. And the last stage is stage 4. Here the learners have high self-direction towards their learning. They are the one who “…set their own goals and standards….” (Grow, 1991) They are responsible with “…their [own] learning, direction, and productivity.” (Grow, 1991) The learning style that employed in this level is more of delegation. It focus here is within the learner and the teacher would only be their consultant or delegator. (Grow, 1991) The interaction within the teacher and student is reduced into its minimum or nothing at all. (Grow, 1991) So, after knowing these stages of SSDL, how does the process change as you move from stage 1 to 4? Simple, the teaching style runs from very in touch/spoon feeding or very teacher-centered to a directive approach but highly supportive to facilitation and to freedom or merely delegation. The learner becomes more independent and self-directed as you move up the stages. Lastly, the interaction between the teacher and learners runs from very passive, to two-way communication to highly active involvement to nothing at all.


Margin, Load and Power

Margin refers to the relationship of the load to power. (Hiemstra, 2002) Load refers to the demand that world is giving to a person, it may be internal load (personal-expectation and goals and self-concept) or external load (tasks given in family, career or society).  (Hiemstra, 2000) On the other hand, power refers to the ability to handle the given loads. (Hiemstra, 2000) There are 5 factors that constitutes your power: physical—strength, health, energy, stamina; social—ability to relate to others; mental—ability to think, [or] reason [out]; economic—money, position, influence, [status]; and skills—what [you] can do. (Hiemstra, 2000)


Now, after knowing these, we are tasked to think about different adult learning activities that we want to pursue and know how to adjust these three (margin, load and power) with respect to the activity and the other factors. I have been thinking of learning activities that I wish I would be doing someday, since I am already at the start of adulthood, and these are: to have a Master’s Degree and PhD Degree, to engage more of theater and film works, to pursue at least an NCII (maybe in cooking) and teaching. There are three questions that have been posted: (1) how will you adjust your margin to enable you to pursue these activities; (2) how can you reduce your load to increase your power; and lastly (3) how can you develop your power to increase your margin?

How will you adjust your margin to enable you to pursue these activities?

The listed learning activities are not easy to get or achieve while you are aging. Different factors might affect your learning as what is discussed in module 2. But when you increase your power, say your skills, health and mental capacities, your margin would also increase. With increasing margin comes increasing learning capacity and thus, I could cope up with what those activities require.

How can you reduce your load to increase your power?

To reduce my load to increase my power, I should:

  • think of feasible and attainable goals
  • have small family; and
  • less job (over-time in job)

How can you develop your power to increase your margin?

To develop my power to increase my margin, I should:

  • maintain a good health
  • increase my stamina
  • never stop learning
  • be critical
  • maintain financial stability
  • gain more skills related to the activities (say acting, editing, reading, learning)
  • smile and thing positively; and
  • trust God 🙂


There! I hope you enjoy reading my blog today. Indeed adult learning entails different approach and to teach an adult learner you should know what it is to be an adult. Learning entails commitment and for us to learn how to learn we must commit on studying these things.



Grow, G. (1991). Teaching learners to be self-directed. In Adult Education Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3 (pp. 125-149).

Hiemstra, R. (2002). Theory of Margin.

Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (1998). Andragogy in Practice.