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Adult Development Perspectives

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  1. Adult Development Perspectives • Physical/Biological Aging: external and internal • Psychological Changes: cognitive/personal • Social and cultural factors: changes in adulthood determined by sociocultural context (eg.characteristics of higher social status - employed, live longer, stable; social class shapes choices and opportunities; social roles determine learning needs)

  2. Biological aging • External – noticeable (grey hairs, wringkles, changing body contour, gaining weight) • Senses: see, hear, feel • Nervous system: reaction time • Intelligence : fluid & crystallized • Memory : short & long term • Disease related & fatigue

  3. Psychological development • Intellectual development (stable until 60s, on-going research) • Cognitive development (concern thinking pattern, dialectic vs relativistic) • Personal development (sequential patterns, life events, transitions)

  4. Adult Development -- Phasic • Changes that occur during relatively fixed periods of life/age-related periods • central preoccupations and focal tasks that frame ind. perspective shift with age • educational opportunities perceived in light of developmental task to attain stability • further research: exploration of particular sub-groups, ed. roles in life structure

  5. Adult Development -- Stage • Focus on changes not correlated with age but biological development • Physical/psychological/cognitive development • implications: matching instruction and curriculum to the different type of learners • implications: classroom process is jointly affected by the stage of teacher and learner

  6. Adult Development Implication to learning • Developmental tasks Havighurst • Teachable Moments Havighurst • Margin in life (P/L) McClusky • Life Transitions

  7. Skills for growth/development • The ability to: • select learning activities • plan learning activities • execute learning activities • evaluate learning activities • The ability from both individual and social point of view (no self actualization without social acceptance and participation; i.e. experiencing self fulfillment through achie- ment individually, socially and culturally.

  8. Personality characteristics for growth and development • Self awareness • interest in this world and hereafter • interest in other people • desire to achieve • internalizing standards/criteria for making judgements

  9. Learning & Theory • Learning: process by which bahavioral cahnges take place through reacting with an encountered situation • Theory: an effort to summarize a large amount of knowledge concerning the laws of learning; a way of analyzing, communi---cating and conducting research • Use of Theory: guidance/improvement

  10. Process of Learning or Learning System as a Black Box Theory explains what’s happening inside the box?

  11. General Learning Theories • Behaviorist -- learning occurs as a result of outside factors • Cognitive -- learners’ psychological, physical and social fields are important consideration • Social Learning -- learn in social setting by observing others • Humanist -- considers motivation, needs, interest as factors influencing learning

  12. Behaviorism application • Rewards and punishments • Responsibility for student learning rests squarely with the teacher • Lecture-based, highly structured

  13. Cognitive application • Inquiry-oriented projects • Opportunities for the testing of hypotheses • Curiosity encouraged • Staged scaffolding

  14. Social Learning Theory application • Collaborative learning and group work • Modeling positive responses and high expectations • Opportunities to observe experts in action

  15. Humanist Theory Application • Modifies information processed by people through changing value system • Provide intrinsic motivation to fulfil needs • Inculcating faith in one’s ability to solve problem

  16. Aspects Kids vs Adults

  17. Evolution Adult Education Theory • The Meaning of Adult Education by Eduard Lindeman in 1926 marked the beginning of adult education as a field • Adult educators began to look for a unique adult education knowledge base • European adult educators began to use the term andragogy in the 1950s • Andragogy finally surfaced and became part of the educational language in 1967 with Malcolm Knowles, a prominent scholar in the field of adult education

  18. Five principles of Andragogy • Self-Concept: Adult learners are directing their own plan. (teacher directed vs. self directed) • Experience: Adult learners bring an ever growing reservoir of experience and knowledge to the table. • Readiness to learn: Adults are focused and ready to learn those things that will have a direct impact on themselves/family/work. • Orientation to learning: Problem centered rather than subject centered. • Motivation: Adult learners are learning for a reason, and they push themselves from within. They are sparked by an inner source and have a sense of urgency about their learning. (internal vs. external motivation)

  19. Models of Self-directed Learning • Sequential (Tough, 1991) • What, where, how, set deadlines, get proper resources, find time, increase motivation • Interwoven (Brockett & Hiemstra, 1991) • Self-directed learning occurs when need is matched with opportunity • Instructional (Grow, 1991) • From relying heavily on the teacher for guidance to taking full responsibility for learning • self concept moving from dependence toward self directed

  20. Questions on self-directed learning • What is involved when adults take control of their own learning? • How do they set their learning goals? • How they locate appropriate resources? • How do they evaluate their learning? • How deliberation and serendipity intersect? • What about social and peer group supports? • The influence of culture/SES on learning?

  21. Contemporary Theories of Adult Learning • Transformational Learning • Learning lead to empowerment and transformed world view • Gradually or through sudden experience (with sequential steps) • Informal & Incidental Learning • Informal learning: unstructured learning in the hands of the learner • Incidental learning: a byproduct of interactions, trial-and-error, etc. • Can be enhanced by well-planned educational intervention.

  22. Mezirow’s “Perspective Transformation”

  23. Contemporary Theories of Adult Learning • Context-Based Adult Learning • Learning is shaped by: the nature of the interactions and contexts • involves development in personal, interpersonal processes • Postmodern Theories • Knowledge is socially constructed and form in the eyes of the knower • One kind of learner, one learning goal, one way to learn don’t exist • Critical Theory Worldview • Prejudice/oppression become common-sense viewing lenses • Learning through critical reflection and consciousness raising

  24. Lessons from Learning Theories • Feedback and Reinforcement is necessary • Practice is important/Clear Objectives • Material must be meaningful • Learners must be involved • The Trainer must be credible • Learners must be able to see the benefits & achieve incremental successes

  25. Questions on Critical Reflection • How adults make sense or meaning from their experiences? • What are the dynamic involved in modifying meanings? • Why certain adults can be highly critical on issue related to ideologies but not on others? • To what extent is critical reflection associated with personality characteristics?

  26. Questions on Experiential Learning • Is experiential learning a natural phenomena or shaped by culture? • Is length of experiential learning connected to intensity of learning? • Are there any difference in impact between adults and youngsters participating in experiential methods such as games, simulations, psychodrama, case-studies etc.

  27. Assumption about Adult Learners • They are diverse, bringing wealth of life experiences. Active learning connects content to learners’ meaning structures: • Diverse in ages, abilities, job experiences, cultural background, personal goals • Range in education 0 – many years • Personal experiences and learning resources

  28. Assumption about Adult Learners • They want to relate content to specific contexts in lives. Thus they are: • Pragmatic learners • They want to improve performance • Expect class time to be well spent • Hope that courses will solve problems

  29. Assumption about Adult Learners • They prefer to have some degree of control over their learning. They: • Tend to be voluntary learners • Believe the decision to go to school is an important one • Believe education will be helpful

  30. Assumption about Adult Learners • Their sense of self has a significant influence on the meaning of the learning situation. They may: • Feel embarrassed on returning to school • Feel embarrassed joining classes with younsters • Hold negative impressions of their abilities • Hold negative impressions of school and teacher