Adult Learning Theories For Adult Learners

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Introduction Adult learners have been deemed different than their younger counterparts and extensive research has studied and complied different theories on how adults learn. The following paper will identify and describe several adult learning theories and give examples on how they associate with supervisors. Adult Learning Theories The following are the main theories that have been described by Glickman, Gordon, and Ross-Gordon (2010) on how adults learn. Andragogy Andragogy was popularized by Malcom Knowles (1980) and states that adult learning has four basic assumptions about adult learning. The first assumption is that there is a physiological need to self-direct. The second in that adults have experiences that should be used when learning. Third, the readiness of adult learning is influenced by a need to solve problems that are related to real-world situations. The final assumption is that adult performance is centered on wanting immediate application of knowledge. Knowles (1984) added a fifth assumption that adult learning is primarily intrinsically motivated (Glickman, Gordon, & Ross-Gordon, 2010). Although Andragogy no longer as widely accepted as it once was because of the question if self-direction is actual versus an adult preference (Glickman, Gordon, & Ross-Gordon, 2010). Before the death of Knowles (1980), Knowles acknowledged differences between children and adult learners maybe a matter of situation rather than rigid dichotomy (Glickman, Gordon, &
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