Review competing perspectives on learning, from the classical foundations of rationalism and empiricism through the traditional classifications of learning theory-- behaviorism, cognitivism, humanism, and constructivism.
Understand the foundations of historical and modern learning practice, and to illuminate the practices that may best serve learner and context.
Synthesize disparate perspectives of learning to discover best practices in education.
Adult learning and development
Review the emerging practice of adult education from its historical foundations, disparate perspectives, and emergent practices
Identify research-based principles of adult education leading to effective education programs that meet the learning needs of individuals, organizations, and society.
Integrate disparate perspectives to change behavior, develop capacity, construct knowledge from experience, transcend potential, and prolong creative longevity through academic and professional development.
Given that learning appears to be an innate human trait, reason suggests that humans could devise a standard definition of learning. Such is hardly the case.
From ancient philosophers debating learning as either experience or reason to modern educators quibbling about whether learning is process, product, or function, perspectives on learning seem to be as numerous as practitioners of learning. Theorists, researchers, practitioners, and philosophers may never agree on a single definition of learning because the definition seems to depend on so many dynamically interacting variables. Some of these variables include the philosophical and theoretical foundation of the institution, the social agenda of administration, the philosophical perspective of the practitioner, the needs and capacity of the learner, and contextual factors.
The confusion presented by disparate perspectives on learning presents an opportunity to explore the foundations of modern education practice to understand why some learning programs apply the methods they do, while providing a basis for a principal-based approach to learning that matches method with context.
The Learning Perspectives category reviews competing perspectives on learning, from the classical foundations of rationalism and empiricism through the traditional classifications of learning theory-- behaviorism, cognitivism, humanism, and constructivism. The purpose of this exploration is to understand the foundations of historical and modern learning practice, and to illuminate the practices that may best serve learner and context.
Following are articles that will appear in the Learning Perspectives Section:
- Rationalist foundations of cognitive learning theory
- Empirical foundations of behavioral learning theory
- Thorndike's connectionism
- Watson's behaviorism
- Skinner's radical behaviorism
- Applying behaviorist learning theory
Cognitivism: Developing capacity to better learn
- Piaget's cognitive-developmental theory
- Bandura's social cognitive theory
- Applying social cognitive theory
Humanism: Reaching for inherent potential
- Maslow: Transcending full humanness
- Rogers: Learner-centered education
- Mays: Authentic Self
- Applying humanist learning theory
Constructivism: Constructing knowledge through experience
- Disparate ideologies under the constructivist penumbra
- Vygotsky's Cognitive-Mediation Theory
- Applying constructivist-learning theory
Situational learning theory
- Grow's Staged Self Directed Learning Model
- Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory
- Limitations of situational teaching methods
- Synthesis: Mitigating methodological myopia
- Learning perspectives bibliography
A transforming economy and personal motivation for growth are making learning a permanent condition for Americans. Economically, many workers are finding they must continuously upgrade their skills and knowledge if they want to maintain employment, let alone remain competitive for paying jobs. Likewise, employers are finding they must constantly adapt their workforces and processes to an increasingly dynamic environment.
Motivationally, rising affluence and a greater variety of learning opportunities in American society are allowing a more diverse and affluent population to pursue education as a means to realize and transcend personal and societal potential. Once perceived as a remedial means to help adults catch up on education they should have had as youth, the adult education industry has emerged to facilitate perpetual learning that supports individual, social and economic well-being. The growth of adult education programs in non-traditional institutions is causing a rethinking of teaching practices in traditional institutions that seem slow to adapt to the diverse needs and abilities of adult learners.
The Adult Learning and Development category explores the emerging practice of adult education from its historical foundations, disparate perspectives, and emergent practices to identify research-based principles of adult education leading to effective education programs that meet the learning needs of individuals, organizations, and society. The articles that will appear in this section include the following:
- Historical connections to emerging practice in adult education
- Philosophical foundations of modern adult education practice
- Practical integration of divergent adult development theories
- Adult learning models
- Professional association guidelines for good practice in adult education
- Best years ahead for the adult brain
- Integrating disparate perspectives in adult learning
- Adult Development Bibliography