The Power of Adult Learning in Fine Arts: Drawing upon Personal Experience

  • Izabella Orzelski-Konikowski


The utility of definitions and descriptions applied to adult learning can be effectively measured only by direct application to a specific field of learning, in this case, fine arts. Based on the author’s 12 years of experience as an art educator, the article provides a conceptual framework for those who are at the beginning of their pedagogical career as well as for those who look for new approaches to adult teaching. The article is based on the premise that adult learners are lifelong learners interested in acquiring more knowledge in subjects they feel are relevant to their needs and interests. As lifelong learners, adult students have higher expectations than their younger counterparts with regard to the knowledge and professional conduct of their instructors. They are highly self-motivated individuals who are aware of their technical shortcomings and seek to broaden their creative horizons. Working with adult learners requires more flexibility and individual adjustments on the part of the educator. This applies to every aspect of teaching and classroom management.

Author Biography

Izabella Orzelski-Konikowski
Izabella Orzelski-Konikowski received her masters in fine arts from the Graduate School of Figurative Art at the New York Academy of Art in 1998. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Winspear Fund Grant in Edmonton and a Dahesh Museum Award in New York. She is both an accomplished portrait artist and a respected art educator working for the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta.
Reports of Practice