Chapter One - The Social Context of Adulthood Learning
Adulthood learning depends on the social practices that are familiar to everyone. Most people believe that learning is appropriate at the childhood level, the time when the brain is still developing. In contrast, with the current improvements in the business operation, adulthood learning has become common. Although the writer of the above chapter argue that adulthood learning characterized by the need for development specifically in the developing economies, in my view, adulthood learning is a continuous process that is influenced by the environment where an individual lives. There are societies that believe that education is the key to success and as a result, most people from childhood to adulthood will mostly concentrate on the learning process with the aim of achieving success in life. The increasing challenges facing the world and different societies are some of the factors that influence adult learning processes. People need to upgrade to the use of advanced technologies in order to work efficiently in different fields, learning should, therefore, become a continuous process whenever an individual holds a responsibility in a given task. Although most of the adults tasked with different roles are often reluctant in engaging in the adult learning processes, the changes in the environment usually force them to take part in the acquisition of new knowledge for them to become relevant.
Both the adulthood and the childhood learning process depend on the economic, social and political demands during a given period in the society. In medieval Europe, people concentrated on learning the art and in the modern times, individuals have diversified areas of interest where learning processes can occur. The globalization and changes in demography often contribute to the increasing instances of adult learning processes. Given there a considerable number of adults in different societies, there is always the need for them to be at par with the new technologies and approaches to solving the emerging challenges, a situation that increases the chances of adulthood participation in the learning processes.
Chapter Two - Learning Environments and Learning Concepts
Many adults only believe that learning is something the people go through for a specified period of time and thereafter start enjoying and applying whatever has been acquired from class. There is a structured form of learning such as the one delivered in the learning institutions. On the other hand, there is the informal learning system that involves individual experiences and encounters with a different circumstance. There are many people who believe that effective learning begins after the school, the adulthood learning. It does not necessarily require the intervention of the teacher or the tutor; it is an individual form of learning that people must pass through. Some people describe it as learning through doing or learning by practice.
Although adult learning often occurs in different platforms such as non-formal institutions settings, formal institutions and informal context, the acquisition of concepts usually depends on the individual views which mostly stem from the society or an environment where a person is brought up. The formal institutions only provide the basis and guidelines which an individual can follow in pursuit of wider knowledge. The knowledge taught in different institutions is about the approaches geared towards providing a solution to the challenges in the society. Therefore, adulthood learning processes can still occur outside the formal learning institutions with support from experiences and individual endeavors that often occur in the course of life. Although there is a belief that informal education is mostly meant for adults, in many instances, every individual passes through the non-formal education system since this is the only way to practically understand the society better. In the current global learning system, most people prefer the formal education system since it equips the learners with the skills to gain an economic advantage while forgetting the life-long experiences that the informal system of education brings at an individual level.
Chapter Three - Adult Learners: Who Participates and Why
Individuals who participate in the adult education system often come with varied reasons. The above learning systems incorporate individuals with different interest. There are always many cases where individuals who passed through the formal education system also enroll in the adult education system. There are instances where a person is not rightfully employed in their area of specialization hence the need to further their knowledge through participation in the adult education system. The participants of adulthood education include both the individuals who never made it in the formal education system as well as those who want to boost their knowledge to understand the current practices and technology in the society. The reasons why adults do not attend the adulthood education system in different institutions is due to the emergence of the internet and home-based training system. The advancement in the social-cultural nature of the society also leads to the advanced experiences among the adults hence lack of motivation to attend the adult education institutions.
The adulthood education systems do not have a structured learning system, most institutions tend to adopt different procedures of dispersing relevant knowledge to the learners, and therefore, there is lack of consistency making many adults to lose interest in attending such institutions. The changes in the social organization and the challenges in the environment often lead to the varied reasons that make the learners take part in the adult education system. Although lack of time and money are always cited as some of the barriers to the participation in the adult education system, lack of interest caused by the availability of numerous sources of information may also act as a barrier.
Chapter Four - Knowles's Andragogy, And Models of Adult Learning by Mcclusky, Illeris, And Jarvis
According to Knowles observation, when an individual grows, they often tend to become independent in terms of their thinking and decisions on education matters. With the advancement in thinking, individuals are able to identify different sources that are right for them. On the other hand, the advancement in thinking often improves the acquisition of an informal set of ideas usually taught in the informal education system. According to Knowles, adults frequently accumulate a lot of experiences which later becomes a source of learning. In contrast, the accumulated experience is the knowledge that those who are attending the formal education system do not have. Therefore, an individual grows, they tend to acquire different life experiences that are essential for solving the problems in the environment. The role of education is to provide people with competent skills capable of handling the problems that frequently occur in a given environment of a society. The readiness of an adult to learn depends not only on the social role but also on the individual goals and interest.
In accordance to Knowles later publication, the drivers to the learning processes depend on the internal factors. Further, these factors must be accompanied by the societal values and needs that stem from different challenges. An individual might have the internal goodwill to pursue the adulthood education system, but with the lack of societal support, they might end up not realizing their dreams. Realizing the need to take part in the adult education system does not arise from adults themselves but there are driving factors. For instance, the changing technological world has forced many people to become ICT compliance whether they have a formal or informal education.
Chapter Five - Self-directed Learning
Self-directed learning is a common phenomenon in the adult education system. This form of learning often starts when a person is born until they die. Many studies prove that individual learning is most efficient as it enables the learners to grasp the basic ideas without depending on the tutors or teachers. Self-learning process also takes place in different formal and informal institutions since teachers cannot give the entire knowledge to the learners. There are some concepts in life are acquired through practice and in such cases, self-learning process often proves effective. Self-directed learning process often takes place automatically and it is guided by different people in life. Many people may act as teachers even this may not sound common to most people. The frequent actions and steps that people make in life are guided. For instance, both the traditional and modern societies have laws that guide the behaviors of the people. Many people automatically learn or adopt these values without stepping into the formal or informal learning institutions. Self-learning is essential in developing positive characters in the society. Additionally, self-learning enables people to become innovative in finding a solution to the societal challenges.
Instead of insisting on the structure formal education systems that are syllabus oriented. The learning institutions should encourage the self-learning process with the aim of developing creative thinkers. In the modern technological world, a number of people have dropped out of the formal education system since they did not see any value in it. Mark Zuckerberg for instance, adopted the self-learning system as this was the only way to achieve his innovative ideas in the field of technology. Self-learning process may become fruitful among the adult learners as they will get the opportunity to interact with different aspects of the society.
Chapter Six - Transformational Learning
Transformational learning often involves the extension of consciousness through the changes in the worldview and certain capacities of an individual. In the process of transformational learning, there is always directed process that a person chooses to adhere to with the aim of achieving personal dreams. It also entails balancing one's preferences by critically analyzing the underlying premises. Changes in attitude and beliefs are essential in the transformative learning, but more importantly, there is always the need for an individual to develop a tendency in taking appropriate actions geared towards achieving the dream goals. The changes in habit, behaviors, and mindset are essential in the transformational learning. However, these changes are not self-made but they often arise as a result of the influences from the environment of residence. Additionally, transformational learning depends on the individual age making it a gradual process. Transformational learning in a given environment may become sudden depending on the mindset and the societal beliefs. On the other hand, it may become slow depending on the level of interaction of an individual.
In the transformational learning, practice or taking action is essential. Transformational learning may be facilitated by both formal and informal system of learning but it entirely depends on the individual attitudes and perceptions of steps that need to be taken to achieve the dreams. In adult learning, transformational learning is usually automatic as the learners frequently attempt to grab some skills from the experiences they get from fellow learners. The structured form of adulthood learning cannot fully incorporate all elements of transformational learning; it only highlights some basic concepts that may become helpful in the understanding of what needs to be taught at a given time.
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