Adult Learning Theories

Topics: Continuing education, Educational psychology, Education Pages: 1 (333 words) Published: January 10, 2014
This article published in the Journal of College Reading and Learning gives insight into the characteristics, positive and negative, of the non-traditional student.  The article relays that many non-traditional students are adults who have been in the workplace for an extended period.  As stated, there is much adult learning theory that comes from the "organizational development field (OD) field . . ." and the article gives four principles that characterize adult learners (Knowles, 1974).  These principles point out some of the good characteristics of this category of people, one of which is that they are task motivated and attend college for a specific goal.  The article also points out some obstacles for adult learners in that they may not have been in a classroom environment for a number of years, they may only be attending school part-time, and they carry over the principles of learning in a work environment.  Throughout, the article contains strategies for helping the adult learner to succeed in a college environment.  It states that the teachers must address the needs of each person based on their situation.  I am a non-traditional student who has been in the work force for over twenty years and who has not continued my academic education since high school.  I think the article makes great points about the challenges for these students.  I find it difficult as a working student to switch gears sometimes and allow myself to be directed and controlled by the tasks and instructions given to me by others.  I also find it difficult to recall knowledge of certain subjects that i have not studied since high school.  But, as pointed out in the article, I am one of those non-traditional students who has a specific goal in mind and who wants to be in school.  After reading the material, I have a new perspective on an approach to continued education for myself. Reference: Carl Kenner and Jason Weineman (Spring 2011), Adult Learning Theory: Applications to...
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