Challenges, Issues, and Trends in Adult Education

Challenges, Issues, and Trends in Adult Education

Jeng-Yang Wu (The University of Alabama, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1306-4.ch004


This chapter explores how adults think, learn, and apply knowledge in their daily lives to effectively design a curriculum, create activities, and integrate valuable technology into the course design. The chapter summarizes adult learning theories, including self-directed, transformative, and experiential learning, as well as the concept of andragogy. Instructors are provided with practical tools and methodologies which will help them to produce effective adult learning experiences.
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Definition Of Adulthood

Authors tend to define adulthood differently, with each perspective centering upon a different aspect. However, the most common theories agree upon the following definitions.

  • Biological Adulthood: An adult is classified as a human or other organism that has reached sexual maturity. Cross-culturally, adulthood has been determined primarily by the start of puberty in both sexes.

  • Legal Adulthood: The typical age of a legal adult is 18 in the United States. Legal rights vary among other countries and for those between the ages of 18 and 21.

  • Psychological State: According to Erikson (1975), the stage in human development can be divided into three progressive eras: young adult (early 20s to 30s), middle adulthood (ages 40-64), and old age (65 years or older).

  • Social Adulthood: Social adulthood deals with social roles. It refers to self-concept and the ability to responsibly and independently care for oneself. An adult can perform certain roles such as completing education, working, buying houses, living independently, marrying, and raising children, etc. (Hogan & Astone, 1986).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Instructional Design: The systematic process of design and develop of instruction for specific goals and objectives based on theoretical and practical research. It is a process to build a bridge between instructors and learners to facilitate the teaching and learning.

Teaching and Learning: Teaching and learning is an educational setting environment of instructors who providing content, objectives, and goals; learners whom receiving knowledge, performance, and produce outcomes.

Simulation: Simulation is using a computer software or physical settings to act out an actual or probable real-life condition or situation to find a cause of a past occurrence (such as an accident), or to forecast future effects (outcomes) of assumed circumstances or factors.

Instructional Technology: Instructional technology can be either a software or hardware which is used to facilitate learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality is realistic, happen in real time, and three-dimensional computer simulation of physical objects and space. It represents an extraordinary experience to users by interacting with the avatars, images, and sounds to bring the experience.

Adult Learning Theories: Adult learning theories is a series of concepts to give instructors or instructional designers a framework and guidelines for developing content for adult learners in different contexts. Adult learning theories include andragogy, transformational learning, and experiential learning.

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