Adult Learning An Overview of the Theories Jean Marrapodi Summer 2002 ED828
What is unique about adult learners? Adults have: • More life experience to build on • Competing responsibilities Adults generally are: • More resistant to new ideas • Autonomous • Self-directed • Goal oriented • Relevancy oriented
Thinking about Adult Education Andragogy is the true method of adult learning ... life itself is the adult's school. Martha Anderson and Eduard Lindeman, Education Through Experience (1927)
Transformational Learning Accelerated Learning 4MAT Self Directed Learning Androgony Theories Covered
Transformational Learning The intent of education for emancipatory action – or … perspective transformation…is the providing of the learner with: • an accurate in-depth understanding of his or her historical situation; • becoming critically aware of how and why the structure of psycho-cultural assumptions has come to constrain the way we see ourselves and our relationships, • reconstituting the structure to permit a more inclusive and discriminating integration of experience and acting upon these new understandings. Mezirow, 1981, as quoted in Cranton, p 24
In English, Transformation Learning is • Looking at what is, and how it came to be • Looking at internal assumptions • Examining new information • Intentionally attempting to create behavioral changes in the learner, based on new knowledge.
Goals of Transformational Learning Ideally, in transformative learning, learners are: • becoming more reflective and critical • being more open to the perspectives of others • being less defensive and more accepting of new ideas
Transformational Learning Process Occurrence of a trigger event that prompts inner discomfort and perplexity An appraisal of oneself or self-scrutiny An exploration of ways to either explain discrepancies or to live with them The development of alternative perspectives or new ways of thinking and acting The integration of new perspectives into one’s life Brookfield, 1987 as quoted in Cranton, p 61
Name Dropping of Transformational Learning Theorists Click the name for a biography, and research overview for their theories • Jack Mezirow – Research Overview • Patricia Cranton – Research Overview • Stephen Brookfield –Research Overview • Jurgen Habermas – Research Overview
KEY for Transformational Learning The learner changes perspective and/or behavior as a result of the learning
Accelerated Learning “Accelerated Learning recognizes that each of us has an individual preferred way of learning that suits us best. When you learn the techniques that exactly match your personal learning style, you will be learning in the way that is most natural for you. Because it is natural, it is easier; because it is easier, it is faster.” http://www.acceleratedlearning.com/method/faq.html
Accelerated Learning Assumptions Learning needs: • A positive learning environment • Total learner involvement • Collaboration among learners • Variety that appeals to all learning styles • Contextual learning The Accelerated Learning Handbook, p xviii
Accelerated Learning Principles • Learning involves the whole mind and body • Leaning is creation, not consumption • Collaboration aids learning • Learning takes place on many levels simultaneously • Learning comes from doing the work itself (with feedback) • Positive emotions greatly improve learning • The image brain absorbs information instantly and automatically The Accelerated Learning Handbook, p 9-10
Accelerated Learning Foundations • Framed in Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences • Each learner has strengths in a particular area: Verbal-Linguistic Logical-Mathematical Visual-Spatial Body-Kinesthetic Musical-Rhythmic Interpersonal Intrapersonal
Accelerated Learning Process • Motivate the mind • Acquire information • Search out meaning • Trigger the memory • Exhibit what is known • Reflect on what was learned
The SAVI Approach Involve the learner through: • Somatic (physical) learning • Involve the body • Auditory learning • Let them hear and talk about it • Visual Learning • Let them visualize and picture it • Intellectual learning • Let them process it The Accelerated Learning Handbook, p 41-50
Name Dropping of Accelerated Learning Theorists Click the name for a biography, and research overview for their theories • Dave Meier – Research Overview • Colin Rose – Research Overview • Howard Gardner – Research Overview
KEY for Accelerated Learning The learner learns in the way he/she learns best
4MAT System Learners receive information on a continuum Direct Experience Abstract Concept Learners process information on a continuum Active ExperimentationReflective Observation The point of intersection of the two identifies the learner’s favorite way to learn.
4MAT System Direct Experience Experiencing Reflective Observation Active Experimentation 4MAT CYCLE Action Reflection Abstracting Abstract Concept
4MAT System Learners also favor one side of the brain over another. Left BrainRight Brain logical creative verbal spatial analytical intuitive
4MAT System • The combination of the perception, processing and brain dominance creates eight diverse learning styles. • The 4MAT System uses a cyclical approach to teach around the circle in a variety of methods to reach each learner’s strong area, and allow stretching by experiences in the weaker, non-dominant arenas.
Name Dropping of 4MAT Theorists Click the name for a biography, and the About Learning website for theories Bernice McCarthy About Learning Website
Self Directed/Experiential Learning Self directed learning involves change and personal growth. There are two types of information: Cognitive Experiential (meaningless) (significant) Based in the work of Carl Rogers http://tip.psychology.org/rogers.html
Experiential Learning Learning is facilitated when: • the student participates completely in the learning process and has control over its nature and direction, • it is primarily based upon direct confrontation with practical, social, personal or research problems • self-evaluation is the principal method of assessing progress or success.
Experiential Learning Teacher’s role • setting a positive climate for learning, • clarifying the purposes of the learner(s), • organizing and making available learning resources, • balancing intellectual and emotional components of learning, • sharing feelings and thoughts with learners but not dominating.
Experiential Learning • Learning occurs around the circle • May start in any place 1 4 3 2
Name Dropping of Experiential Learning Theorists Click the name for a biography, and research overview for their theories Carl Rogers – Research Overview David Kolb – Research Overview
KEY for Experiential Learning Learning is problem solving. It is most effective when it is initiated by the learner, and facilitated by the teacher
Andragogy Adults: • need to know why they need to learn something • need to learn experientially • approach learning as problem-solving • learn best when the topic is of immediate value. From the work of Malcolm Knowles http://tip.psychology.org/knowles.html
Principles ofAndragogy • Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction. • Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities. • Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life. • Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented. http://tip.psychology.org/knowles.html
Name Dropping of Androgony Theorists Click the name for a biography, and research overview for their theories Malcolm Knowles – Research Overview
KEY forAndragogy Adults need involvement in the process of problem solving through experiences where they can learn from their mistakes
A Final Thought [Adult education is] a co-operative venture in non-authoritarian, informal learning; the chief purpose of which is to discover the meaning of experience; a quest of the mind which digs down to the roots of the preconceptions which formulate our conduct; a technique of learning for adults which makes education coterminous with life, and hence elevates living itself to the level of an experiment. Eduard Lindeman, What is Adult Education? (1925).