This paper focuses on the application of three concepts: self-directed learning, transformational learning, and experiential learning, that for years, have been consistently acknowledged relevant to adult education. Adult learning usually takes place in informal and non-formal settings…
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ch Nesbit, Leach and Foley (2004) described these non-traditional adult students are less likely to be easily satisfied and more opinionated than their younger counterparts, that demand for better quality university provision is seen vital (p. 90). Specifically, this paper focuses on the application of three concepts: self-directed learning, transformational learning, and experiential learning, that for years, have been consistently acknowledged relevant to adult education. Adult Learning in College In the past, adult learning usually takes place in informal and non-formal settings. An adult, which may not have been able to finish high school or which may have failed to enter or finish college, sees the need to augment this educational deficiency with non-formal vocational education in order to gain skills necessary for employment. However today, “the increasing demands for professional services of high quality” (Marsick 1998, p. 119) rendered earlier adult learning insufficient, causing an increasing number of adults going through formal college education. As Jarvis (1995) rightly observed: “Because change is so rapid, it is necessary for individuals to keep learning, so that they should not become alienated from the culture that engulfs them” (p. 3). To be more concrete, “Individuals in the workforce are expected to keep abreast with all the technological changes that occur in their place of work” (Jarvis, 2004, pp. 13-14). This increasing adult participation in colleges has dramatically altered higher education institutions in terms of organization, program offerings and curricula, that adult education today is taking much academic interest, particularly in terms of adult learning. As Slotnick, et al. (1993) suspected in their study, some college...
This essay analyzes that according to Paul (1996) experiential learning takes its root from the traditional apprentice model in response to the wide demand in the 19th century to incorporate practical learning in formal education, which was dominated then by abstract learning. The importance of integrating experience in learning is greatly influenced by John Dewey in the US. This has practically gained its impetus after WWII, with the returning US war veterans’ desire to pursue their education which was interfered by the war. This essay analyzes that according to Paul (1996) experiential learning takes its root from the traditional apprentice model in response to the wide demand in the 19th century to incorporate practical learning in formal education, which was dominated then by abstract learning. The importance of integrating experience in learning is greatly influenced by John Dewey in the US. This has practically gained its impetus after WWII, with the returning US war veterans’ desire to pursue their education which was interfered by the war. The rich experiences of adult learners can be rich learning resources in adult learning in colleges, but experiential learning can be truly a defining feature of adult learning, if learning does not sole rely on this, but instead makes use of this in combination with the other two learning concepts. As such, adult learner’s experiences would be understood to be value laden that reflecting on it could bring the adult learner to a deeper understanding of his/her life experience.
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