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Adult learning Tip 3: Applying Principles

You can apply adult learning principles to many different types of skills in many different contexts. This includes routine and non-routine skills. Examples below describe a non-routine skill - the application of the principles to teaching miners how to correctly use their self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) and a routine skill - the inspection and care procedure for an SCSR.

Example 1:

Learning principles applied to a non-routine skill: SCSR donning

Problem: Difficulty in the use of emergency breathing equipment (SCSR).

Consequences: Problematic escape in the case of an emergency.

Solution: Hands-on training with the equipment. A simplified procedure, known as the "3+3" method for putting on SCSRs, was developed by using a logical sequence of three steps that must be completed to isolate a worker's lungs and three additional steps that prepare a worker for evacuating the workplace.

Application of adult learning principles in this method:

Example 2:

Encouraging compliance with inspection and care procedures for SCSRs.

Problem: Concerns that workers do not adhere to inspection and care procedures of their SCSRs.

Consequences: Unreliable SCSRs could compromise the safety of workers in an emergency situation.

Solution: Researchers developed a training package to teach miners how to conduct routine inspections of their SCSRs, to care for them properly between inspections, and to reinforce the relationship between inspection and care and performance of the apparatus when it must be used.

Application of adult learning principles in this method:

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Center for Disease Control For additional information contact:
Dr. Kathleen M. Kowalski-Trakofler, 412-386-4531,
Dr. Charles Vaught, 412-386-6830,
National Institute Occupational Safety and Health