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The Three Models Of The Adult Learning Theory Of Learning

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Learning as defined by the American Heritage dictionary as “the act, process or experience of gaining knowledge or skill (ahdictionary.com, 2017). Many have tried to further define learning by describing just how one gains knowledge or skill. Malcolm Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory of Andragogy, David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory and Jack Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory are three such models of the experiential learning process that will be discussed here.
Adults differ from children in that they have spent years building up a foundation of life experience that serves as a starting point for any new learning whether formal or informal. Malcolm Knowles recognized this foundation when outlining his theory of Andragogy. He also highlighted that adults not only approach learning opportunities with prior experience, but also find motivation for learning within themselves, are able to learn independently and have the ability to integrate learning into their previously established experiences and find immediate application for their new learnings (Abela, 2009).
The assumptions of Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory, first proposed in 1980, have since become an accepted part of the framework when one considers how adults learn. It is difficult to argue with the fact that adults enter each new day with a background of previous experiences. In formal learning situations, an instructor can use the variety of life experiences brought in by students to build a learning
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