Adult Learning Theory

961 Words4 Pages
Sharan Merriam's article, "Adult learning theory for the twenty-first century" essentially functions as a summary of the updates of a book regarding learning for adults. The author provides an overview of some of the key distinctions between this updated volume and that of previous volumes, which allows her to elucidate some of the latest trends to influence this field. Chief among these ideas is the importance of context to the facilitation of learning. Context can be either literal or figurative, and involve either a physical location or social and culture factors (Merriam, 2008, p. 95). The emphasis on context has helped to shift the learning experience away from the individual and to connect it with a more communal, holistic approach. This is particularly true of the other principle idea discussed within this article, that learning in general and adult education in particular is actually a multi-dimensional process that can involve, but is not limited to, varying aspects of spirituality, physicality, and narration (Merriam, 2008, p. 93). The author's premise is that the involvement of these non-traditional aspects of learning allow for a greater propensity to internalize and incorporate additional knowledge into their lives. The article written by Kenner et al, "Adult learning theory: applications to non-traditional college students", provides a more comprehensive and less stratified look at the phenomenon of pursuing higher education as an adult. This piece
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