Hi! I'm Natalie Flammia, Professional Development Associate for Adult Literacy at NPL. I work with adult literacy educators and program leaders to help them achieve their professional learning goals.
If you’re over 18 and you’re learning a subject or a skill outside of traditional “higher education” (think college or university), you’re what Adult Literacy at NPL considers an “adult learner.” You may not realize it, but there is an entire branch of education (andragogy) dedicated to better understanding your unique needs, motivations, and approaches to learning. Think about why you last watched a tutorial on YouTube, took a class on LinkedIn Learning, or borrowed a “For Dummies” book from the library. Based on what the principles of andragogy tell me, I’d bet that it’s likely you made these choices for yourself because you were interested in learning something that was relevant to your job or personal life, and that you tested out what you learned by applying it as you went (If I’m wrong, shoot me an email to let me know! No two learners are exactly the same).
In classrooms throughout the world — including here in Nashville — educators apply andragogy practices to their teaching by engaging with adult learners as the full, complex, and unique individuals that they are. Here in Nashville, a number of agencies serve a particular community of adult learners interested in increasing their knowledge or skill in English language, citizenship, high school equivalency, workforce development, digital literacy, and more. Each year Adult Literacy at NPL confers the Adult Educator of the Year Award to one Davidson County educator who has significantly contributed to the field of adult education in our community and positively impacted the lives of their learners.