Misconceptions of Adult Learning – presentation

Daria Pestone
August 12, 2012
EDU 643
Professor Harrington
• Not having a clear understanding of who
the adult learner is and what makes them
different from other learning individuals
• Believed that all learning is formal, did
not consider informal learning as
• Did not know the importance of adult
learning to education overall
Middle aged to older
individual who did not
fulfill his or her education
goals so has returned to
finish through night school
or specialty courses at a
local university
Picture #1
• Adult learner is any adult with
motivation to learn. (Merriam et
• Adult learners stand out from
their younger counterparts with
their responsibility for their lives
and actions, along with their
ability to chose what they do
and do not wish to learn.
(Diabiase & Kidwai, 2010)
They also have better time
management and life
experiences to relate to course
Picture #2
5 highest motivational factors for adults
• A desire for personal accomplishment
• A desire to finish a degree not completed yet
• A desire to be their
kid’s role model
• A desire for skills
in a selected field
• Encouragement
from their kids
(Kimmel and McNeese (2006)
Picture #3
Believed that all
learning is formal,
such as a classroom
setting, and did not
consider informal
learning as
Picture #4
Picture #5
TRUTH: Informal learning is a huge
part of the way all adults educate
Leisure informal learning is education
in a social group, interest classes, and
activity setting. (Dattilo et al., 2012)
“Informal learning is an important
way that individuals construct
meaning from their experiences. This
type of learning typically is triggered
by a discrepancy between a person’s
entire history of experiences and a
new experience that cannot be
handled automatically” (Lohman,
• I miscalculated how
important adult learning
is to education overall.
• I assumed that child and
high school education
age was the epicenter of
all educational studies
Picture #6
Picture #7
• “for the first time in our society, adults
outnumber youth, there are more older
adults, the population is better
educated than ever before, and there
is more cultural and ethnic diversity.”
(Merriam et al.,2007,p.7)
• Adult learning is the topic of many
great theories and research like
Knowles’s Andragogy & Erikson’s
Psychosocial Development Model.
• Schools and theorists are focusing on
learning what motivates adults and
how to create curriculum that fits their
life style.
Dattilo, A. E. L., Ewert, A., & Dattilo, J. (2012). Learning as Leisure: Motivation and Outcome in Adult Free Time
Learning. [Article]. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 30(1), 1-18.
Dibiase, D., & Kidwai, K. (2010). Wasted on the Young? Comparing the Performance and Attitudes of Younger and
Older US Adults in an Online Class on Geographic Information. [Article]. Journal of Geography in Higher Education,
34(3), 299-326
Kimmel, S. B., & McNeese, M. N. (2006). Barriers to Business Education: Motivating Adult Learners. [Article]. Journal of
Behavioral & Applied Management, 7(3), 292-303.
Lohman, M.C. (Fall 2003). Environmental Inhibitors to informal learning in the workplace: A Case Study of Public
School Teachers. Adult Education Quarterly.
Merriam,S.B., Caffarella, R.S., & Baumgartner, L.M. (2007). Learning in Adulthood, a comprehensive guide. (3rd ed.).
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Picture 1: Harris & Ewing, 1905-1945. Blum, Leon picture. Retrieved from: http://www.old-picture.com/americanlegacy/000/Reading-Book-Man-001.htm
Picture 2 : Retrieved on August 12, 2013 from: http://www.ginaabudi.com/images/AdultLearning.jpg
Picture 3: Stein, E. 1994. Retrieved from: http://www.bible.ca/marriage/childl-role-model-parents.gif
Picture 4: Retrieved on August 12, 2012 from: http://tincanapi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/tin-canactivities.png
Picture 5: Retrieved on August 12, 2013 from:
Picture 6 Retrieved on August 12, 2013 from: http://i1.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/1/lens5762762_1276793266school_bus.jpg
Picture 7 Retrieved on August 12, 2013 from: http://png1.findicons.com/files/icons/2315/default_icon/256/arrow_up.png

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