Adult Learning Theory Twenty-First Century 9 Chapter 9 Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Adult learning theory Twenty-First Century 9(chapter 9 book Sharan Merriam - New

The primary purpose of Cari Kenner and Jason Weinerman's "Adult learning theory: applications to non-traditional college students" and Sharan Merriam's "Adult learning theory for the twenty-first century" is to denote differences in adult learners from conventional higher education learners, and to accommodate those differences to maximize learning potential for the former students. The authors achieve these goals by discussing the impact and context of student experience, various aspects of learning theory, and a multi-dimensional approach to learning.

Adult learners are greatly shaped by their previous experience which oftentimes involves elements of real life such as their occupational experience and that of raising children. Oftentimes, such experiences are what distinguish adult learners from "college kids." These experiences can inform their learning in higher educational settings, particularly if pedagogues are aware of them and exploit them in their teaching.

Learning theory is discussed in order to address the best methodologies for educating adults. Tacit theory and informal theory are propagated as the most beneficial. These theories, in combination with an awareness of the circumscriptions and the previous experience of adults, can result in effective lesson framing and other tools to help adults learn.

Both articles emphasize using non-traditional methods to help adult learners. Merriam suggests the benefits of a multi-dimensional approach that incorporates aspects of narration, physicality, and other non-traditional ways in which adult students can learn.

Each article looks to maximize the efficiency of adult learning. Doing so readily requires an awareness of the differences in adult learners and conventional ones related to the former's life experiences, as well as learning theory and practices that involves a multi-dimensional approach.

The aforementioned articles appear to be extremely useful for educating adult students in higher education, distance…

Sources Used in Document:


Kenner, C., Weinerman, J. (2011). "Adult learning theory: applications to non-traditional college students." Journal of College Reading and Learning. 41(2) 87-96.

Merrian, S.B. "Adult learning theory for the twenty-first century." New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education.

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