The Study of Adult Learning Models and Theories

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There are many models and theories that contribute to the adult learning process. When most educators think of the adult learning process andragogy is usually one of the first thoughts. According to Malcolm Knowles, Andragoggy is “the art and science of helping others learn (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007).”Andragogy are learning strategies focused on adults. It is often interpreted as the process of engaging adult learners with the structure of the learning experience (Clardy, 2005). Andragogy assumes that adults have different learning characteristics and requirements than children. Thus, adult educational procedures must be altered from the pedagogical procedures used when teaching children. Andragogy is based on five assumptions concerning the adult learner (ASTD, 2007).

The first assumption is as a person matures, his or her self-concept moves from that of a dependent personality toward one of a self-directing human being (Merriam et al., 2007). The learner is self-directed at this point. The second assumption is that an adult accumulates a growing reservoir of experience, which is a rich resource for learning (Merriam et al., 2007). Adults are able to use their experiences for themselves and others. Thirdly, the readiness of an adult to learn is closely related to the developmental tasks of his or her social role (Clardy, 2005).

This readiness to learn is a direct result of life experiences. Fourth, there is a change in time perspective as people mature from future application of knowledge to immediacy of application (Merriam et al., 2007). Thus, an adult is more problem centered than subject centered in learning. Lastly, adults are motivated to learn by internal factors rather than external ones (Merriam et al.,...

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...actual learning process itself. The Illeris model is the most interested in the learning process itself. McClusky’s theory has more to say about adult development and the timing of learning, though, than about the actual learning transaction (Merriam et al., 2007). McClusky's model does not directly address learning itself but rather when it is most likely to occur. It can be used in understanding the link between development and learning (Merriam et al., 2007).

Works Cited

ASTD Speaker Orientation (2007). Adult Learning Models.

Clardy, A. (2005). Andragogy: Adult Learning And Education At Its Best?

Knowles, M. S. (1984). Andragogy in Action. Applying modern principles of

adult education.

Merriam, S. Caffarella, R. Baumgartner, L. (2007). Learning In Adulthood. Adult

Learning Theory and Models

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