Professional development and adult learning are closely related. In adult learning, adults will commit to learning when the goals and objectives are considered realistic and important to them. Adults want to be the origin of their own learning and will resist learning activities that they believe are an attack on their competence. Professional development gives the people some control over the what, who, how, why, when, and where of their learning. Egos are involved in the adult learning theory as well. Professional development is structured to provide support from peers and to reduce the fear of judgment during learning. In the adult learning theory, adults come to learn from a wide range of experiences, knowledge, self direction, interest, and competencies. This diversity must be accompanied in the professional development planning. (Speck, 1996) Almost everything that involves professional development is related to the adult learning theory. As we progress through adulthood, we learn from many of our experiences. This can be a form of both adult learning and professional development; adult learning in the fact that we are learning from past experiences and professional development because we take the knowledge gained and use it to excel in other fields. In this relationship, it is hard to have one without the other. There will always be a reference between the theories during the learning that adults will do. Adult learning and professional development are key factors in careers, as well as everyday life. If we continue to use them in conjunction with each other, it will help in the life learning process.
Speck, M. (1996) . Adult Learning Theory. Retrieved on February 27, 2008 from