Adult Learning Principles for Effective Teaching in Radiology Programmes: A Review of the Literature
BACKGROUND: Adult learning processes of acquisition of new knowledge, behaviours, skills, values or preferences generally occur as part of personal professional development. There is need for radiology residency trainers to understand the basic adult learning principles for effective teaching processes. OBJECTIVE: To review the different adult learning styles, learning theories and educational practice as a guide for radiology residency trainers. METHODS: Literature materials from journals, web articles and reputable textbooks in the last 20 years on adult learning principles in general and radiology in particular were reviewed. RESULTS: Most medical educators, including radiologists, lack appropriate formal training background in educational practice. The adult residency trainee brings to the learning environment high quantity and quality of experiences and some amount of control. Connection of this rich adult experience base to the learning process requires facilitation and motivation by the radiology educator, who must be familiar with the use of appropriate learning theories and educational practices. CONCLUSION: there is a general agreement about the content of good practice in adult education but a definite comprehensive list does not seem to exist in the literature. Nonetheless, understanding of the basic adult learning principles would aid the concept of guided training, where the adult residency trainee shoulders the bulk of the training responsibilities of acquisition of knowledge.
Keywords: Adult Learning Principles, Teaching, Radiology Residency, Review