March 8th, 2013
More and more adults are returning to school to either further their education or to start fresh in a new course of study. With the challenges of work, kids, home life, and school work; the adult learner has many challenges that they face almost every day. Just as extensive research goes into learning about how children learn, research has also been put in place as to how the adult learns. Both of the articles “Revisiting Adult Learning Theory through the Lens of an Adult Learner” by Londell D. Jackson and “Adult Learning Theory for the Twenty-First Century” by Sharan B. Merriam offer valuable information on the subject of Adult Learning Theories.
The first article by Londell D. Jackson comes from his own view of being an adult learner. Here he is learning about the five traditional learning theories he learned about in his Adult Learning and Development class. With each of the five theories of learning: cognitivist, behaviorist, constructivist, social cognitive, and humanist (Jackson, 2009); Londell goes through each of the theories and explains each one. He does this by giving the reader the definition and then gives examples, in-text citations, and personal experiences to help the reader better understand what he is explaining. Out of the five theories, Londell states that the cognitive theory of learning is the theory that “resonates deepest with my educational experiences as an adult learner” (Jackson, 2009, pg. 21).This is because this theory states when the learner finds the material that is taught meaningful, they are then able to relate this material and observe past experiences (Jackson, 2009). Londell closes his writing with stating that he can take what he has learned and hopefully apply it to where he works.
The article by Sharan B. Merriam is all about how there is not one constant correct theory about adult learning and that with new research it is proving to be always changing. Within...