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Adult Learning Theory Paper

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Adult Learning Theory Paper

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Adult Learning Theory Paper

INFT 101 Section 7

7 March 2013

Summary

In an effort to determine how adults learn, experts examine and evaluate studies that have been done that involve the adult learner. The more that experts understand how the learner processes information, the better the understanding will be on how to structure their learning environment. Research is continually changing in this area, and educators know there are differences in how each adult learner attains information. In the two articles, “Adult Learning Theory for the Twenty-First Century” by Sharan B. Merriam, and “Adult Learning Theory: Applications to Non-Traditional College Students” by Kenner and Weinerman, different theories are discussed.

In the journal article, “Adult Learning Theory for the Twenty-First Century” by Sharan B. Merriam, she explains that there are always new updates and research on adult learning theories. “Today the historical, sociocultural context of adult learning is recognized as a key component in understanding the nature of adult learning” (Merriam, 2008, p.94). This differs from the early decades where experts only focused on one type of learner. More attention is being placed on exactly how the adult learner learns in society than just as an individual. Adult learning was first thought of as a cognitive process, however currently it is thought of as a much “broader activity involving the body, emotions, and the spirit as well as the mind” (Merriam, 2008, p.98).

Another theory of adult learning is shown in the journal article, “Adult Learning Theory: Applications to Non-Traditional College Students” by Kenner and Weinerman. This theory is about the adult learner and how she takes her work success and integrates it in her academic success. She uses her life experiences to help in her academic community. “By understanding what makes adult learners different from traditional students, developmental educators can provide specific tools...