Adult Learners

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August 21, 2012

The Essence of Transformational Adult Learning

Abstract – The theory of transformative learning theory, first articulated by Mezirow and further refined in his later publications, is about change - dramatic, fundamental change in the way we see ourselves and the world (Mezirow and Taylor, 2009). In contrast, Knowles' model of andragogy focuses on the characteristics of the adult learner and his or her life situation (Knowles, Holton and Swanson, 2005). This article compares and contrasts the essence of Mezirow's transformational learning and Knowles' model of andragogy and provides supporting research evidence for each one. It also formulates an approach to the instructional design of learning for adults who are returning to school that incorporates appropriate concepts from these two theories.”

by Tim Stafford, MS MA