Tips on How to Succeed as an Adult Learner

“Sun: demonstration in the JMU Planetarium.

Shortly after enrolling for #ILEP2018, I struggled with the question ” Is my Experience a baggage to be discarded or an asset to be deployed? I turned to my friends on Facebook for advice. And they gave great advice which I think can benefit all other adult learners. I reproduce the messages in order of posting. The advice and encouragement I got have spurred me on. I hope  readers will find them beneficial too. Thank you all my friends for this. My message read:

“At this “tender-old” age, I am back as a student at University, with some 25 years of experience teaching others. I feel I have to unlearn lots of stuff to give room for new experiences.

Question is, how do you begin to unlearn 25 years experience? Or could I be going about this the wrong way? Alternatively, how could I leverage experience to learn better and make the most of this opportunity?

I need advice folks, and I need it real quick”

=============== The Advice =================
Jakob Rubenson – Management Consultant in Sweden “In my opinion: Learning is matching new knowledge with earlier experiences. Your past means lots and lots of experiences to add your new knowledge to. Whats needed is an open mind, a little less critical thinking than you are used to. The job is not to evaluate but to seek for new possibilities.

Javie Ssozi – ICT Professional, Media and Communications Expert from Uganda: “Mmm. Interesting questions. Perhaps you don’t have to unlearn anything. Just be you. Keep an open mind and embrace the differences. You are one of the coolest people I know – and I know that you will fit in very well. Go rock those 25 year olds. They might even forget that you hail from a different generation. ?”

Ben Lugwana – Teacher: “Challenging! To me I think learning is built on past experience. We tend to expound and expand on the existing ideas and knowledge. When we share with others, we can easily build on what we already have and add on new perceptions to improve on what we have and then produce better ideas. Experience, Knowledge, Sharing, New Ideas = Improved ideas.”

Ssesanga Paul – Educator, Tour Guide, Media Entrepreneur: “You don’t need to unlearn anything but rather open up your mind to experience the new encounters,match old experience with new knowledge. Learning indeed never stops”


Joel Bato – Teacher of TD, Adobe Global Lead Educator, “As an agent of change. I’m stand with the view that knowledge is from the inside out and so is change. I believe we must be the change we want to see. If what you are learning now puts the pieces of change together in a more meaningful way, then I’ll say take it all in then come and turn our education system right side up. We too would love to be part of the change revolution.”

Tina Godsmasterpiece – one of the brightest girls I have ever taught: “You are a smart guy and all you need i right on the inside. @yourpowerechoes @yougotit

Sara Jansson – Project Manager at Life Academy – Sweden, and expert in Education for Sustainable Development: “All you need is curiosity and an open mind, and Im sure you have enough of that ? Exciting with new experiences!”

Ephraim Kisangala – Medical Doctor, Founder member of United Nations Club: “I think in the process of learning, the unlearning will happen unawares. Do your part of learning just, and the rest will fall in line.”

Obang Hannington – One of the sharpest people from Eastern Uganda, M&E officer at UCC: “You’re among the top brains Uganda has groomed over time!”

Margaret Mutsamvi – Director @ Economic Justice for Women – Zimbabwe: “Unlearning is much more harder than learning, that’s why today folks will defend what they were taught by their mothers when they were 3 Years. Just don’t unlearn a lot of stuff, you are rich.”

Richard Tinkasimire Baguma – Mass Communications Professional, Thinker and partner in many crimes: “Enjoy…”

Nansamba Brenda – Upcoming business influencer: “But I thought learning never comes to end.. despite the 25yrs experience, if your learning something new its yet tym to add on wat you already have, en perhaps applying some of wat u already knw in this new attainment..unlearning can not happen because its all in you already… …yaa hope it goes well.”

Mukaaya Nicholas Caesar – Accountant, former student of mine: “All you need to do is to add little by little and leave out what is not necessary. Surely accept the new experiences and you will see that you got more experiences and better ideas which may be a interesting way to learn.”

Nakanwagi Juliet – my former student had a cool time laughing her : “YES TR U SEE CLASS AINT EASY, HEHE”

Dr. Ronnie B Lowenstein – Global Visionary Leader and founder of Global Net Generation of Youth (NGY) for Enjoy the experiences. Be patient…  Journal daily for few minutes to reflect!”

Pheona Matovu – Social Entrepreneur:  ” You know I went back to study in my adult life my friend. Best time ever! It was extremely busy with my youngest going to start P1 and 3 kids to look after never mind business with hubby. Tough especially in terms of time management but so much fun to choose what you want to do and no pressure from anyone-just you! Loved it and so glad I did it. Every thing I studied informs our business so it was easy to understand because it was relevant. You’ll love it and you’ll perform exceptionally well because you have a purpose for it and of course you are intelligent. And you’ll of course continue to be the trend setter in your sector. Go for it!”

Ibrahim Bbossa – Manager at Uganda Communications Commission: “You are among the literates of the 21st Century. Your ability to learn, unlearn and relearn is exactly why you are where you are. Just do your thing. You are doing great.”


Goretti Amuriat – Women in ICT advocate: “Hang in there.”

Eng. Allen Nansubuga – (Best cool brain): “What you are asking you already have it on the inside of you so just be you and apply. God be with you my dear.”

Dr. John Jagwe – roommate – KCB, Consultant in Agricultural Economics: “Ayub this is a great move! Just use your experience to enrich your learning experience. Keep your eye on the prize”


Dr. Marijn de Waal – Professor at JMU: “Do not unlearn 25 years of experience! Share your successes with us and your fellow ILEP teachers so that we can learn from you! You have been chosen for a reason! Reflect on your teaching and realm of influence, and see where you can strengthen! That’s what good teachers do every day :)”

Badru Ssemakula – Educationist: “I am certain you stand a better chance of excelling above your classmates. Your experience gives you a wonderful niche. So go for it!”


Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kalema Golooba Ayub