Demonstration and Group Work Methods of Teaching Adults

This article expounds on the teaching methods used in adult learning. These include Demonstration and Group Work methods of teaching and learning.

Demonstration as a teaching method in adult education

As learning has become a life long pursuit, educators as well as the media are placing more emphasis on adulthood.

Brookfield(1983), observes that demonstration method of teaching may be used in the circumstance of proving conclusively a fact, as by reasoning or showing evidence.Visual aids like objects, actual items, models or drawings can help in demonstration. Inclusion of personal stories and examples to illustrate your topics for demonstration by a great percentage enhances adult understanding. Providing each member with materials and ingredients to practice with ensures that everyone is participating. Monitor by looking around to ensure that the audience is following you.

Reinsmith(1994), relates that learning a list of facts provides a detached and impersonal experience while the same list, containing examples and stories, becomes, potentially, personally relatable. Furthermore, storytelling in information presentation may also reinforce memory retention because it provides connections between factorial presentation and real-world examples/personable experience, thus, putting things into a clearer perspective and allowing for increased neural representation in the brain. Therefore, it is important to provide personable, supplementary, examples in all forms of information presentation because this practice likely allows for greater interest in the subject matter and better information-retention rates.

Brookfield(1986), suggests that often in lecture numbers are used to explain a subject but often when many numbers are being used it is difficult to see the whole picture. Visuals that is bright in color, etc. offer a way for the adults to put into perspective the numbers or stats that are being used. If the adults can not only hear but see what is being taught, it is more likely they will believe and fully grasp what is being taught. It allows another way for the adult to relate to the material.

Group work as a teaching method 

One of the benefits of group work is increased social integration. Social integration has been known to have a significant positive effect on retention. Small groups of adult learners at the same level of career maturity create a social environment that motivates other adult learners. The importance of drawing on the experiences, skills, and values of the adult learners themselves is an internationally supported mode of adult education. Groups allow adult learners to draw on these experiences.

Groups and group-work is an important experience for adult learners since they often work during the day and engage learning activities in the evening to further there studies. Groups can give them valuable experiences and insights into this ‘other’ culture.


Brookfield, S D. (1983) Adult Learners, Adult Education and the Community, San Francisco: -open university press.

Reinsmith, W.A. (1994). Two Great Professors: Formidable Intellects with Affection for Students. College Teaching, Vol. 42, No. 4

Reinsmith, W.A. (1994), Two Great Professors: Formidable Intellects with Affection for Students. College Teaching, Vol. 42, No. 4

Vella, J. (1994). Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.