Sample Essay on Learning theories related to Adult Education

Learning theories related to Adult Education

Transformative and independent/Self-Directed Learning

The theories of learning used in adult and childhood education differ significantly in their application and the expected effect on learning. The settings of adult education may be in the classroom or at the workplace. Preceding understanding and experiences of adult learners, as well as their capability to identify their skills, is important in enhancing the learning. One of the most commonly used theories of learning are the self-directed theory and transformative theories, but they differ in their application. The self-directed approach mainly focuses on lessons that the learners can relate to their life experiences. Unlike transformative learning, self-directed learning is an informal mode of learning. The processes of learning used in transformative learning are facilitated by other parties other than the adult learner. This is different from self-directed learning, where the learner determines the learning process (Chris & Crooks, 2002).

            In both theories, the learning is facilitated by experiences of the learners that are critical in enhancing their understanding. To enhance transformative learning, it is important for the educators to create a learning environment that promotes autonomy among the learners, using collaboration and active participation (King, 2009). The educators must also know the areas that interest the learners so that the learning process becomes appealing. The use of critical incidences is also an important way of improving learning in adult education because it explores different points of view. Writing should also be used as a strategy to promote learning because it enhances self-reflection and growth. The learners should be provided with feedback regarding their progress in learning to deepen their critical thinking.


Chris Patterson, N. P., & Crooks, D. (2002). A new perspective on competencies for self-     directed learning. Journal of Nursing Education41(1).

King, K. P. (2009). Educational technology professional development as transformative learning          opportunities. Computers & Education39(3), 283-297.