ERIC Number: ED166372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Adults Learn Differently Than Children. An Examination of an Old Basic Assumption.
Parsons, Jerry; Johnson, Thomas
A study explored research data to see if evidence exists to support the assumption by adult educators that adults learn differently than children. Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) documents, educational and psychological periodicals, and other resources were reviewed. It was discovered that most adult educators have dealt with non-cognitive rather than cognitive aspects of learning. Learning research was classified into two categories: philosophical/practitioner and empirical. In the first category the work of Edward C. Lindeman, Malcolm S. Knowles, J. Roby Kidd, and others was examined; in the empirical category the work of Allen Tough, E. L. Thorndike, Jean Piaget, and others was explored. The research review revealed (1) that there were discrete philosophical/practitioner and empirical categories with little effort to reconcile data from both viewpoints, and (2) that there was no serious examination of the question of whether adults learn differently than children. Adult educators assumed the differences and other educators and researchers did not consider them. It was hypothesized that the learning process gradually changes over the full range of the life cycle of an individual. Existing learning research data needs to be reanalyzed to discover if learning patterns exist as an individual moves through the life cycle. (CSS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Coll. of Education.; University of Mid-America, Lincoln, NE.
Authoring Institution: N/A