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Learning Theory Paper - Assignment Example

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Allen Tough was a learning theorist who is seen as “a pioneering scholar in adult learning and self-directed learning” (International Adult and Continuing Education, [IACE] 2006). Tough has many studies to his credit, both that he has done and that other people have done…
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Download file to see previous pages He focused on how some adults were self-directed in their learning and others were not. He found that 70% of adult learners were self-directed and they did not rely on academic learning as the way that they learned (Tough, 2002). Tough was interesting in examining why there were differences and he wanted to add information about why adult learners felt compelled to improve themselves with or without formal learning (Tough, 2002). The information that Tough presented provided more information on how to assist the adult learner beyond what had been provided in the past.
Tough realized that adults were learning in many different ways and they were often discovering learning in nontraditional ways. Adults were learning all the time and it was a part of their everyday life. He found that most adults did not value this outside learning, because they associated learning with formal education (Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner, 2007). In a survey that was done by Patrick Penland, a library school professor, it was found that adult learners were primarily interested in professional development, information that would enhance their family, and those things that would help them move forward in their jobs (Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner, 2007; Tough, 2002).
Tough categorized learning into several episodes and asked adult learners to report on projects that were about seven hours (Tough, 1971). He found that adults usually talked about their day in episodes, or spans of time that described a certain event. He also saw that adults were spending about15 hours a week learning, but that this time may be spent on learning many different things at once (Tough, 2002). Tough found that some adult learners (about 10%) were not interested in learning and that they were content with not learning. When the 10% of adults were questioned, Tough found that they had done many things in their lifetime to learn different things, and in their current ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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