Adult Learning Theories (Merriam, 2007).

Topics: Learning, Psychology, Learning theory Pages: 3 (980 words) Published: June 3, 2013
Common sense seems to dictate that learning theories are a basic set of ideas or principals that is easy to relate toward helping the adult learner get the most out of any subject matter that the student is attempting to learn. Some of the theories tend to seem as innate as breathing while new theories continue to be developed and more research suggests a need for deeper continued scrutiny of how actual learning in an adult takes place on levels beyond response and conditioning as well as what factors contribute to the process known as ‘learning’. In Merriam’s article, Adult Learning Theory for the Twenty-First Century, a wide array of factors are presented that can and do affect learning behaviors of the adult learner regardless of cultural or other differences. The three most recent theories that Merriam’s article touches on are “embodied learning, spirituality and learning, and narrative learning” (Merriam, 2007, p. 1). She emphasizes that currently there are two main depictions to take notice of in adult learning theory and they are “increased attention to the various contexts where learning takes place and learning is a multidimensional phenomenon, not just a cognitive activity” (Merriam, 2007, p. 2). She also discusses the human body’s different responses to learning (Merriam, 2007). In Jackson’s view in his article, Revisiting adult learning theory through the lens of an adult learner, he gives his own take on five adult learning theories, which are behaviorist, humanist, cognitivist, social cognitive, and constructivist. He accomplishes this through depictions of his own life experiences as examples of how each of the five theories is useful in teaching people or at least in getting a response. By demonstrating the usefulness of five well-known adult learning theories, Jackson portrays a vivid picture of the theories in use, which gives valuable insight to the adult learner who will apply these theories to themselves in order to gain greater...

Bibliography: Jackson, L. D. (2009). Revisiting adult learning theory through the lens of an adult learner. Retrieved from Adult Learning:
Merriam, S. B. (2007). Adult Learning Theory for the Twenty-First Century. Retrieved from New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education • DOI: 10.1002/ace, pp.1-6.
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