Adult Learner Stereotypes

Adult Learner Stereotypes based on Knowles
Independent Self Concept
Stereotypical pictures of adult learners to me would include, older mature
adults looking to further themselves but also people who have not graduated
from high school working on taking their GED. I did not find any negative
stereotypical pictures but a broad range of positive images follow.
In this first example, I feel that these people are experiencing a need to grow
and further themselves, or a need for independence as per Knowles
independent self concept.
According to Mezirow, transformative learning is a process in "perspective
transformation". This transformation has three dimensions: one dimension is
psychological or a change in the understanding of ones self, the second
dimension is convictional or a revision in ones beliefs and the third is a
behavioral change, such as a change in ones lifestyle.
The people in this photo are an example of who I see as typical adult
learners. The people in the picture are a group of Mexican students learning
to read and write Spanish for the first time.
According to Lange, with progressive orientation, education at one time was
viewed as one of the most powerful ways in which society could advance. I
feel this image is a good example of that philosophy.
Reference: ADHE 412 Unit 6 Notes and readings
Lange, E. Challenging Social Philosophobia, 2006.
Image retrieved on February 16/2012 from: Tim Walsh
http:[email protected]/3219747721/
Broad Base of Experience
The image here are of a small group of ladies who, in my opinion have a broad base
of life experience. They decided to further themselves and did so. They have
differing experiences than children do so are considered or assumed to be adults.
The people in this photo are from England and they are taking some German
language classes.
According to Knowles, adults have more varied and extensive experiences than
children and that’s what sets them apart. The quality of experiences for adults are
different than those of children. His work also included feminist theory and views
and the perspective transformation of women.
Reference: ADHE 412 Unit 6 Notes
Image retrieved on February 16/2012 from: Deutsch Lernen in Glossop
http:[email protected]/4389806570/
Readiness to Learn
Here are a group of adult learners involved in
discussing Mathematics at length.
In our notes, Verner regards adults as people who
have come into a certain stage in life where they are
involved in the social roles of adulthood.
Knowles notes that this assumption follows a
change in role such as job loss, or now perhaps an
empty nest results in the urge to receive further
education themselves.
A life changing event is seen as the pivotal event
that brings adults to education and bring a readiness
to learn.
Adults tend to be more interested in educational
activities that meet their current state.
In our readings, Elizabeth Lange notes that some
educators may just reproduce how they were
educated and not take into account the learners
needs which could have a negative effect on the
ADHE 412 Unit 6 Notes and Readings
Lange, E. Challenging Social Philosophobia, 2006.
Image retrieved on February 16/2012 from: Marian Thacher
Orientation to Learning
The group of people pictured here are a social media group
meeting at a preconference.
These people are learning today to use this information
tomorrow. This assists in increasing their competency in an
area to further themselves in their career today or tomorrow.
This is one of the assumptions of adult learners, that they want
to learn today and be able to use this information in the near
Lange, in our readings, note that when learners know what
they need and feel ready to learn, they will then take the
responsibility to learn.
Reference: ADHE 412 Unit 6 notes
Lange, E. Challenging Social Philosophobia, 2006.
Image retrieved on February 16/2012 from: Marian Thacher

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