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Emotional and cognitive chalenges of adult college learners: Evolving Identities through collegiate learning - Essay Example

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Emotional and cognitive challenges of adult college learners: Evolving identities through collegiate learning Name Instructor Class 25 August 2012 For returning or first-time adult college students, college is often both an exciting and distressing life experience…
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Emotional and cognitive chalenges of adult college learners: Evolving Identities through collegiate learning
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Download file to see previous pages Kasworm (2008) argued that “learning is an act of hope” (p. 27), and this hope goes through four emotional phases: hope to enter college, hope to continue college through renegotiating or adapting identities, hope to be one with collegiate learning and system, and hope to find and exploit future opportunities. This paper reflects on this article and finds points of agreements and disagreements. It finds the article’s writing style engaging and organized until the last part of hope, where there is a disconnection between considering future possibilities and describing learning as a context-based journey. This paper agrees that adult learners tend to be more purposeful and resilient in their collegiate experiences than younger adults, and the conflict between the emotional and knowledge-seeking self can have productive outcomes, but with an expansion of the idea of college learners as a contributor not only to the class and higher education institution but also to their families, communities, and society in general. Older adult learners do not have the same kind of indecision as younger adults, and instead they enter college with specific purposes in mind despite potential emotional challenges distinctive to their age group. My primary purpose for entering college is expanding work and life opportunities. With this clear purpose in mind, I am more motivated to enter and finish my classes. Older learners, furthermore, tend to have unique emotional challenges because of their life cycle stages that produce twin home and work responsibilities. This paper agrees with Kasworm (2008) and her ideas about the emotional challenges that impact the first act of hope. She said: “Confident and resilient learners find entry into college often challenging to their identities and their sense of adult competence” (p. 28). Indeed, though I found myself as a confident learner, I felt unsure of my place in college education. At first, I needed to adjust to the school bureaucracy and then to course requirements and schedules. Some classes can be so challenging that I question my sense of adult competence. Whenever I feel discouraged, I ask myself about my learning and career goals, and this helps me become more motivated to finish my courses. Therefore, having clear and inspiring goals helps adult learners engage in the first phase of their collegiate experience. The second act of hope, continuing higher education, is especially relevant, which I believe applies to many, if not all, adult learners with families and work responsibilities, because they have to renegotiate or adapt their identities to persevere in and benefit from their educational process. I agree with Kasworm (2008), who believes that cognitive and emotional dimensions of college education can both undermine and strengthen emotional resilience. She said: “The cognitive and the emotional aspects of their collegiate commitment are intertwined and represent both emotional resilience and emotional vulnerability” (p. 30). I believe it is important to acknowledge that adult learners are emotional beings, too, which is something new that I learned from the article. Emotions are often taken for granted, even when they shape our experiences and identities. In reality, I believe that adult learners’ emotional identity affects their intellectual identity, too. College education is not limited to influencing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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