In considering major factors that facilitate adult development and change, it is helpful to conceive of an overarching assumption about learning: it is best achieved through collaboration and dialogue with other professionals. This assumption holds that “adults have enough life experience to be in dialogue with any teacher, about any subject, and will learn new knowledge or attitudes or skills best in relation to that life experience” (Knowles, 1970, as cited in Vella, 1994 book, p. 3). This dialogue, in turn, must be characterized by a mutual recognition of the psychological and sociocultural aspects of learning that affect individuals. Bee (Bee, 1996, as cited by Baumgartner & Merriam, 2000) suggests that these aspects include the psychological components of intelligence and personality, as well as the sociocultural components of race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and education. In promoting effective learning and successful change, we must develop supports for these factors and understand that each element will exert varying degrees of influence, depending on the individual. Adult learning is a fluid process, further complicated by issues such as current life stage, health, and the perception of self within the constructs of culture, family values, and recently, a disintegrating global economy. These conditions affect development, learning, and change in varying ways and degrees. Adult learning and transformation is a lifelong process, as each person is a
The learning material should be relevant to their social positions and lifestyle, and because the learning material directly concerns their lives, they would want to be involved in the whole process – from the introduction of information to the outcome. Adult learners zero in to the elements that are of most relevance to their immediate needs and conditions. Those aspects that well give them the necessary knowledge and skill to resolve life-centered or problem-centered learning experiences.
Providing renewed hope in the face of adversities and depressing events that may otherwise cause individuals to descend into the negative behavior. Brookfield (2005) addressed the third aspect of adult learning as transformative. Adult learners are exposed to learning in the workplace. Within the workplace, adult workers learn to be critical in analyzing their assumptions regarding the structure business model before reaching a decision that may affect a company’s performance. They view this in conjunction with market realities before arriving at decision that may make or break the company.
The theory of adult learning is the assumptions about how adults learn. Emphasizes the value of the process of learning in adults ("Adult Learning Theory," 2007). Malcom Knowles and American practitioner and theorist of adult education defined is as an art and science of helping adults learn ("Adult Learning Theory," 2007). Knowles also defined six adult learning principles as adults are internally motivated and self-directed, adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences and are goal orientated. They also relevancy oriented and are practical learners who like to be respected when in the classroom ("Adult Learning Theory," 2007). As educators, we need to foster the adult learner’s internal motivation to learn. Develop a rapport with the adult learner, encourage them to ask questions and explore concepts. Some adult learners come with years of experience and knowledge, with this as an instructor or teacher we need to harvest this information and have them apply it to their
Knowles posits that adult learners are self directed and autonomous. They are goal oriented, practical and must see and understand the relevance of any training. Adults bring an abundance of experience and knowledge, experiential learning, with them. Most importantly, “…adults need to be shown respect.” (Lieb)
The Adult Learning Theory is based on understanding how adults learn and how they respond to the program in general. Researchers have found three key methods on how adults learn: experiential learning, transformational learning, and non-Western and Indigenous ways of knowing and learning (CITE). In Experiential Learning, adults learn through the experiences they have lived. Transformational Learning, on the other hand, is a “process in which adult learners question their own lives and how they interact with the world in which they live in” (CITE). Thus meaning that adults learn through situations that challenge their own thoughts about something and makes them reevaluate their original thought process. Lastly, Non-Western and Indigenous ways of knowing and learning is a bit complicated in adult learning as it is hard to find ways to categorize it. Despite the difficulty, there are four reoccurring themes in Non-Western and Indigenous learning: Communal nature of learning, the oneness of learners with the natural world, the oral tradition of learning, and knowledge as holistic (CITE). Further elaboration on this type of adult learning reflects on understanding cultural differences and the value of
Later adulthood is the time in life when changes in marriage, families, and peer relationships are affected the most by the loss of someone close to that person. “Most people 70 years of age or older are widowed, divorced, or single” (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010, p.619). Losing a spouse or close friend can create a sense of loneliness, which causes depression, anxiety and the emptiness feeling can become overwhelming. Depression also leads to psychological effects that will deteriorate a person’s health causing the chance for a terminal disease to become much higher. The weaker appearance of older adults causes family and remaining peers to step up in the role of making sure the person’s wellbeing is being met. (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010). Living accommodations and healthcare needs
Specifically, adult student persistence is effectively influenced by four pillars of support: (a) the extent to which students are able to manage positive and negative forces, (b) support from a school 's staff for students ' sense of self-efficacy, (c) established realistic and attainable educational goals, and (d) the opportunity to assess progress toward those established goals (Comings, Parrella, & Soricone, 1999). Also important to adult education completion is the nature of interactions among students and staff. In a study of 600 literacy and numeracy students in Scotland, Tett, and Maclachlan (2007) found that learners who networked with other students and who interacted with their teachers had a more robust learning experience and generally demonstrated more positive life changes. Kegan et al. (2001) connected learning content and skills with complex meaning systems that are conceptually grounded in the idea that adults develop their reality and beliefs over time through a socializing process that occurs in and outside the classroom. After studying the developmental changes in 41 learners at three adult learning centers over period of 9-14 months, they concluded that adult learners change in a variety of ways that allow them to consolidate and elaborate their skills, knowledge, perspectives, and beliefs. The positive effect of adult education on learners is established in the literature. Kegan et al.
The world of adult learning was changed by Knowles’ (1973) when he identified four assumptions about andragogy, meaning “the art and science of helping adults learn” (Knowles, 1970, p. 42). These assumptions are: self-concept; experience; readiness; and orientation. Knowles later added two more assumptions; the critical need to know, and motivation (Knowles, Holton & Swanson, 2015; Knowles, 1980). Knowles’ second assumption, experience, plays a significant role for individuals to create, retain and transfer knowledge based upon prior knowledge and skill, (Argote, McEvily & Reagans, 2003, p. 575). I will search for evidence on how the elements of Knowles’ theory align with the knowledge retention and engagement.
Today's workers need to prepare with continuous job training, growth and development. Given the increased age, experiences and diverse lifestyles of the working population, it is understandable that adult education practices must move beyond the traditional model of teachers and learners, while new skills, working with local companies to match their needs and sending staff into factories and other workplaces to spread the word about state and federal retraining assistance. While trying to decide how to rebuild your life after loss of employment and lack of job opportunities following the current recession, or devastated from a divorce? Adult students faced with other struggles; studies have shown that older adult students face different hurdles, family problems, and poor self-image. These along with poor time management, weaker academic preparation and a need for remediation an increased focus on adult learners and their needs can help. (armour)
The paper compares and contrasts different theories about adult development by consequently establish a model based generally on a life course conceptualization providing detailed explanation about what are the variables that affect adults’ adaption to transition. And it gives a catalog of different external & internal, personal & environmental, societal & economic, and physical & phycological elements which may independently or collectively lead the adult towards a challenge of transition. The author tends to emphasize on
ADULT LEARNING THEORY 2 Adult Learning Theory Malcolm Knowles Malcolm Knowles (1913-1997) was a key figure in America’s adult education in the second half of the twentieth century (Smith, 2002). Early Life “Born in 1913 and initially raised in Montana,” Knowles seems to have had “a reasonably happy childhood. His father was a veterinarian and from around the age of four Knowles often accompanied him on his visits to farms and ranches” (Smith, 2002, para. 2). His mother also played a critical role in his character building. During his campaign for the scouting prize, he developed a technique that would help him compete successfully (Smith, 2002), which he always thanked his mother for. In 1930, He entered Harvard University with
Basically, this article by Malcolm Knowles is a conglomerate of all aspects of adult learning. It outlines aspects of adult learning, theories of adult learning, and expands on them. The main idea of this article is to create awareness on the existence of adult learning, and to help instructors of adult learning to know how to go about it successfully. Additionally, the article is of help to adult learners to enable them to learn the most they can (Knowles, 2007).
Adolescence is the transitional period in a persons life time that links childhood and adulthood. The factors that influence development during adolescence include genetic/biological and environmental/social. There are many developmental issues that take place during the transition from an adolescent to a young adult. The issues of emerging adulthood(18-25) are characterized by new experiences, experimentation, exploration as well as new developmental tasks.
My impression of adult education has changed immensely. First and foremost, the first lesson learned that teaching adults are a separate, intensive, and long debated process. Portions of certain theories learned illustrated below. I have extended knowledge about Meizrow (Transformational Learning) and Knowles (Andragogy). The six key features of Adult Learners are:
Gadbow believes it is the duty of adult educators to instill a life-long love of learning into their students, "helping adults learn how to learn is the most important thing a teacher ever does" (p. 53). The first responsibility of educators working with adults is to help them identify their learning styles and differences as well as other special learning needs, and then provide effective strategies to adapt to these individual learning needs (53). The author's contention that all learners are special means seeing the possibilities as well as the problems or particular needs of each student as they present themselves.