This is a two phase paper, the first is a rough draft as described below. The second is an actual final copy with the required references and formatting and additonal information to the rough draft for clarity and processes. THe course discussion regarding the theories are below. Mod 2 Critical Thinking Create your own theory of Adult Learning. Read the assigned chapters for the week. Search the Internet for adult learning theorist information. Decide which theorists and theories of adult learning best fit your experience and teaching practice. Formulate your own personal theory of adult learning. Create a brief rough draft for an essay regarding the formation of your theory and post it in the gradebook via the View/Complete Assignment link. The first paper is draft that will be the foundation of your essay for the second part of the assignment, so keep that in mind when creating it. The resources are required in proper formatting on the second part of this assignment Theories and course readings: Jack Merizow’s transformative theory regarding adult learners is extremely fascinating. Merizow (1991) explains that an adult often decides to pursue formal education opportunities after a change in perspective that is often initiated with a disorienting dilemma. In other words, something happens that fails to fit his/her expectations – divorce, death, job loss, and so on. If this crisis can’t be resolved through the application of previous problem-solving strategies, the adult then engages in self-examination. Self-examination leads to exploring options and forming a plan of action. This plan of action often involves educational pursuits. Many instructors have seen examples of this over and over again as they get to know the adult learners in class. Learners in many classes are required to post a personal bio of some sort and asked to explain what prompted them to enroll. Often instructors will meet people who have suffered some sort of major life trauma. In many cases, divorce is the cause of the trauma and the goal is to gain employment that will allow the individual to live comfortably. For instance, think about a mother whose husband left her and is not providing any support for their six children. She works three unsatisfactory, low paying jobs in order to make ends meet and is going to school full-time as well. Even with all of that stress, she manages to turn in beautiful work each week was always on time. This story can be a motivation for many of us when we feel overwhelmed by our comparatively cushy lives. This is simply one example. You will meet people like her all the time in the practice of teaching adults and will be constantly amazed at their resilience despite extremely difficult circumstances. \\ Raymond Wlodkowski’s theory regarding motivation and adult learning is extremely valuable. Wlodkowski (1999) believes that understanding why people behave the way they do is vitally important to helping them learn. Adults have a profound psychological desire to be viewed and treated by others as being self-sufficient. They become ready to learn those things they need to know in order to deal effectively with their real-life circumstances. Since adults view themselves as responsible for their own lives, they feel a greater need to be successful within the educational environment. Adults want to be successful learners and this goal is consistently pressuring them because success indicates competence. If an adult struggles to experience success, his/her motivation for learning will generally weaken. Many adult learners stress over their grades. It isn’t pretty. You may stress over yours, too! Traditional learners don’t seem as pre-occupied with their grades. Perfection isn’t as necessary as it is to the adult learner. This is a barrier to effective teaching and learning. Because adults are focused primarily on their goal, not on the learning itself, and because they equate an “A” with success—success being an indicator of competence—they are often discouraged if their grades are not as expected particularly if the low marks continue. It is vitally important to steer adult learners away from this vein of thinking and to help them embrace learning as a tool for life improvement, not only as a means to an end. Take some time to reflect on Wlodkowski and Merizow. How do their ideas fit into your way of thinking, learning and teaching? Can you embrace learning purely for the sake of learning, or is the goal all that matters? Resources: Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. Wlodkowski, R. (1998). Enhancing adult motivation to learn: A comprehensive guide for teaching all adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. Brookfield, S. D. (1992). Developing criteria for formal theory building in adult education. Adult Education Quarterly, 42 (2), 79-93. Clark M. C., Wilson, A. L. (1991). Context and rationality in Mezirow’s theory of transformational learning. Adult Education Quarterly, 41 (2), 75-91. Panda, S. (2003). Training needs analysis, and development and tryout of a distance learning constructivist online model of continuing professional development of special educators. Fulbright Post-doctoral research report. Organisational Learning and Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA. Tuijnman A., Van Der Kamp, M. (eds.) (1992). Learning across the lifespan: Theories, research, policies. Pergamon: Oxford
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