Adult Learning Theory: Making a Buck
31 October 2010
Wendy T. Hilbert
Adult Learning Theory
When you look at our society and how obtaining a secondary education has become so vital and such a big business today, it is easy to understand why institutions of higher learning have placed a lot of time and money into understanding how adults learn. Since our start in school as young children there has been and always will be a high importance placed on our learning. The same applies as adults but we want to be the masters of this. As young children we go to school simply because our parents and society tells us that we are going to go to school. As adults we have a choice about this and when you think about it we must ultimately gain something out of returning to school (for example: either a pay raise or promotion at work). In the following paragraphs I will address adult learning theory and some of its elements, different ways universities and corporations use adult learning theory, and training within the United States Army. What I ultimately want you to take away from my paper is how important it is to understand how adults learn and what a business it has turned into in our institutions of higher learning. Adult learning theory is very complicated. I think we all know this and if degrees were easy to earn or teaching them to adults was easy then everyone would have some sort of degree. However, I think we all know this is not the case. There are many factors into the motivation of the adult learner but typically there is a goal or a motive for the adult learner. Again as an adult we make the choice to attend school not because we have to but because we want to. Further, we pay for this so who wants to waste this money. Reiner and Willingham state, “There are four elements of learning that must be addressed to ensure the adults learn and they are motivation, reinforcement, retention, and transference.” I will now...
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