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The Adult Learning: Key Points

A summary of the chief ideas of the work

This article examines whether adult learning has connections with learning during childhood by exploring 4 major areas of

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  1. Self-directed learning, which mainly stresses on the procedures through which adults coordinate their personal learning by setting goals and methods and then evaluating their progress.
  2. Critical reflection, which is a process through which adults grow to critically reflect the values, beliefs and assumptions that they have absorbed during childhood.
  3. Experiential learning, which is based on the fact that adult education is a continuous process that evaluates an individual’s personal experiences.
  4. Learning to Learn, this emphasizes on the capability of adults to be able to learn in different situations and in a variety of styles.

The article further talks about 3 trends regarding the study of adult learning,

  1. Cross Cultural Adult Learning
  2. Practical Theorizing
  3. Distance Learning

A description of the ideas and practices found in the text that were most congruent and consistent with experiences as an adult learner.

I too agree with “Learning to learn” being a critical part of adult education since it displays an adult’s capacity to know what and how we want to know. It actually attempts to increase the present theoretical suggestions made regarding adult learning by not relying on views gathered from associated disciplines. Through my experience as an adult learner I have realized that adults do possess the ability which makes them self-consciously mindful of personal learning styles and they can also adjust them depending on the situation they are in. Learning to learn is mostly evident till adolescent ages but can only be fully realized in adults when put into practice and thus, it is very important as a developmental procedure. Also, as an adult learner I have experienced that meta-learning and meta-cognition can also be used with learning to learn.

A description of the ideas and practices fond in the text that were the most discrepant or contradictory to experiences as an adult learner.

Although the writer says that practical theorizing is one of the emergent trends in the study of adult learning, it is my opinion that most adults rarely use this ability in they daily life and learning. A number of adult learners are unable to discover existential meaning, which is derived from experience or the experience of existence, and thus, fail to develop instances of adult logic in their life and live a balanced life. Such adult learners do not utilize their particle knowledge. They do not have a method of truth and neither can they use their individual self-referential logical thinking which makes them unaware of the subjectivity of reasoning or logic and the rawness of knowledge.

An analysis of the important ideas and practices that were omitted from the text

This article does not talk about the factors which motivates adult learners some of which are:

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  1. Cognitive interest which is learning simply for the benefits of learning and to seek knowledge which satisfies an individual’s inquiring mind.
  2. Personal advancement which helps an individual to attain higher job status thus, securing their professional advancement.
  3. External expectations so that they follow instructions given by others and are thus able to understand the advice and fulfill expectations.
  4. Break or stimulation so that their boredom is relieved and they are provided with a break in their daily routine.
  5. Social relationships so that they are able to form new friendships and associations.
  6. Social welfare which enables them to improve their capability of serving other people and communities through participation.

The article also leaves out the fact that adults need to be relevancy oriented and should show respect.

An analysis of the ethical issues and dilemmas that were omitted from the text

This article does not address the issues of whether adult education should be considered as a profession or not. The ethical issues and dilemmas that arise due to adult education centers on 3 dimensions,

  1. The adult educator’s personal value system which focuses on the significance of individual values and the dilemmas that arise are due to an individual’s personal value system.
  2. An adult educator is responsible for multiple audiences and has to tackle many situations. Dilemmas occur when he or she feels that they have to compromise their personal values for these multiple responsibilities.
  3. “Operationalization” which is the way by which the values are put to use. Ethics almost becomes irrelevant here since the educators need to be able to critically reflect on their personal values that relate to the education of adults.

A statement of the ideas in the text those were confusing, poorly argued or contradictory

Although distant learning is an emergent trend in adult education it is not among the best or viable ones. Although the author is right in saying that due to technological advances distant learning is able to provide education to a huge number of adults, it is not always so. Distant learning involves complex and costly technology, like live video communication facility. Adult learners need access to computers and have to plan in advance with their educators which may involve sacrifices from both ends. There are also various hidden costs of distance education, like extra handling and shipping charges. Also, distant learning does not immediately give feedback and both the adult learners and educators have to wait, which means losing time. Finally, distant learning most of the time does not offer specifically required courses and is often not recognized by most employers and organizations.

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