Sample Essay Summary on Learning Theories Related to Adult Education

Learning Theories Related to Adult Education

The application of learning theories to the adult education set up is quite different from application in contemporary learning for young learners. This is because adult learning can occur in school or work place contexts leading to variety of environment. Ability to apply leaning theories effectively when dealing with adult learners depends on effective understanding of adult experiences, behaviors and the ability to understand personal skills. Comprehension of these aspects leads to enhanced learning capability.

Some of the theories used in adult education are the transformative theories and the self-directed theories. Self- directed approach to learning concentrates on the lessons that can be linked to personal experiences of the learners and is therefore used in an informal set up. On the other hand, the transformative theories involve the facilitation of the learning process by other people. In the application of the self- directed theories, the learner is the one who determines the learning process (Chris & Crooks, 2002).

In both theories, learning effectiveness is facilitated by the learner’s previous experiences. In the transformative learning process, it is critical for the facilitator to create an environment that fosters autonomy of the learner (King, 2009). It is also essential for the learning facilitators to understand the aspects that may be interesting to the learners and hence create a sense of appeal for the learner. Learners’ experiences in the learning process can also be improved through the application of critical incidences. Critical incidences explore difference in view points. Since writing can enhance growth and reflection, it should also be used as a learning promotion strategy. In addition to this, provision of feedback in measuring the learner’s progress is also beneficial to the process.


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.

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