Adult Learners – Hidden Realities

This post is provided by guest blogger, Michele Cote, graduate student at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, MS in Training and Development program.

David Housel (2020) brought to light challenges some adult learners face that can be overlooked by educators. Although measures exist to help children with difficulties while they are in school, the same is not true for adults. Background, interruptions in education, disabilities, mental health issues, and trauma are some of the factors that can be prohibitive in adult professional development. As Housel emphasized in his article, educators can aid struggling adult learners by keeping their hardships in mind and by providing additional support and resources. Tailoring instruction to meet an individual’s specific needs is key to making the learning process successful.

David A. Housel, MA, MSW, is the Associate Director of the CUNY Language Immersion Program at LaGuardia Community College. He has been working with adults for many years and is currently a doctoral student in Instructional Leadership at Hunter College (CUNY). He cited reputable references and advocated that adult educators should be trained in andragogy and its complexities. Adult learner challenges were defined and expanded upon and he gave examples how some specific learner difficulties could be addressed. This article would be helpful for anyone who is working with adults in any type of educational or instructional capacity.


Housel, D. (2020). When co-occurring factors impact adult learners: Suggestions for instruction, preservice training, and professional development. Adult Learning, 31(1), 6-16.


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