Adult Learning Styles and Curriculum Development Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

curriculum is one of the hardest tasks that educators are faced with. This is because it must be made in a manner that is accommodative of all students.

Due to the swift change of events and ways of living in our contemporary society, it becomes mandatory for adults to be taught using a variety of methods and styles. Such a change would be mandatory so as to ensure that the increasing and complex need of the adult learners is well taken care of. Generally adults learn through the process of participation. This automatically invokes learning techniques and styles that rely on the visual, tactile and auditory responses. It is worthwhile to explore all the aspects of styles and approaches that can be adopted by the educators in ensuring the smooth formulation of a broad based adult learner's curriculum.

In the process of achieving a unified curriculum to cover all the adult learners, it is to incorporate the new learning theories into the process. The new learning theory comprises of a combination of several elements. These elements invoke the following aspects of learning: cognitive, emotional based, somantic learning and the narrative learning techniques.

This report is aimed at coming up with the best system of approach that would solve the major problems that are related to the process of educating adult learners who may or may not be having any forms of physical and mental disabilities.

Adult learning theories.

The bulk of adult learning theories entail the basic concepts that invoke behavioral change and their experiences. It is worth noting that these theories involve certain amounts of complexities and concepts that are basically drawn from inferences.

Since the basic definition of learning was not very much focused around the concept of behavioral change (Merram and Cafferella 1999)., not much complexities existed in the learning process. However after the 1950s, the complexities got introduced and the result was a better learning process in adults. This included the four invariant cognitive development stages that are related an individual's age.

A study by Ross (2002) identified that several important facets of adult learning theories exists. These facets are the ones that must be nurtured and focused on by the curriculum that is to take care of the learning needs of an average adult learner. These facets include the following aspects: Humanism, the orientation of the adult's personal responsibility, behaviorism and neobehaviorism, the adult's critical perspectives and his or her constructivism. The curriculum should be tailored in a way that it helps the adults in areas that involve their initiative. As was pointed out by Collins (1991), the process of adult learning should comprise of an interactive relationship that merges elements of theory and practice. This is learning by means of projects, quantitative and qualitative techniques. The proper and deep understanding of the adult learning theory therefore help the educators in the formulation of the best learning curriculum that is easy to understand by all adults.

Problems faced in the process of adult curriculum formulation

Numerous problems face educators in the process of formulating the curriculum to be used in the teaching of adult learners. The major one is basically related to the slow rate of knowledge grasping and slow response that they illicit form their adult learners. The other major problem that affects adult learners is their lack of creativity. This is mainly caused by less brain activity that aids in the development of their creative sides. This however can be summed up as the elements of physical inability that are related to adulthood.

These problems pose a great problem to the educators who are in charge of formulating the curriculum. The learning process of an adult is mainly based on their former life experiences. Therefore the formulation of the curriculum should involve activities that invoke their sensory aspects of learning.


The formulation of the curriculum should take into account that adults respond very well to learning with styles that incorporate the need and use of the sensory structures. These include the visual, auditory and tactile elements of learning. The combination of the above styles with the new and contemporary adult learning styles ensures maximum cohesiveness in the process of learning. This new style of learning is mainly centered on the cognitive,…

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