Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn

Enhancing Adult Motivation to LearnEnhancing Adult Motivation to Learn: A Comprehensive Guide for Teaching All Adults, 4th Edition

by Raymond J. Wlodkowski and Margery B. Ginsberg


The classic interdisciplinary reference on adult education, updated for today’s learning environment

Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn provides adult educators with the information and strategies they need to guide non-traditional students toward positive educational outcomes. Providing a clear framework, guidelines for instructional planning, real-world examples, and cutting-edge ideas, this book fills the need for intrinsically motivating instruction targeted specifically toward adults returning to school. This new fourth edition sharpens the focus on community colleges, where most first-generation college students and working adults begin their higher education, and explores the rising use of technology and alternative delivery methods including a new chapter covering online instruction.

Since the publication of its first edition, this book has become a classic reference for understanding adult motivation in educational and training settings. As more and more adults re-enter the educational system, instructors and trainers will find extraordinary value in this exploration at the intersection of research and practice.

  • Examine the latest neuroscience and psychological research pertaining to adult motivation and learning
  • Delve into alternative formats including online learning, interactive learning materials, and more
  • Elicit and encourage adult intrinsic motivation using the Motivational Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching and sixty practical, research-backed strategies
  • Adopt a culturally responsive instructional approach for an inclusive and equitable learning environment.

Adult students differ from traditional students in motivation, attitude, experience, and more; this, combined with an increasingly diverse body of students as well electronic delivery methods, makes today’s teaching environment a new landscape for instructors to navigate. Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn provides a clear guide to success for instructors and students alike.


I particularly value this book for its orientation to the instructor’s world. It eloquently provides insights into learning designs that build on learner motivation and culturally responsive learning; its text features accessible language and understandings of ideas and actions, as well as practitioner-oriented approaches that are very practical in their application.

The Review of Higher Education

Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn is an excellent resource that can be used by all adult educators and trainers. Administrators in higher education may also find this book useful as they work with increasing motivation in adult staff. . . with accessible charts, checklists, and tables this book is a true instructional tool. I highly recommend this guide to any adult educator who is interested in improving adult motivation for learning.

Adult Education Quarterly

Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn is a must read for practitioners of adult education who wish to deepen their understanding of the characteristics of a motivating instructor and the conditions that motivate adult learning. The book is steeped in research, yet filled with practical examples. . . that have direct implications for designing instruction.

Journal of Adult Education