ERIC Number: ED373147
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Sep
Learning Styles in Adult Education: Issues for Research and Practice.
Fenwick, Tara J.
The existing body of learning style (LS) research was reviewed from the standpoint of its applicability to adult populations. It was discovered that most existing LS research has been conducted on populations of school- and college-age students in classroom settings and does not consider self-directed, informal, or incidental learning. The following problems/issues relevant to the transferability of existing LS research to adult populations were identified: (1) developing unity and coherence in a consistent definition and body of theory about LS; (2) transferring research findings to adults from existing studies centering on school students; (3) accepting the premise of stability in LS posited by existing theory in light of evidence to the contrary; (4) assigning LS "types" as a commonly accepted albeit simplistic and reductionist use of LS theory; and (5) applying research to instructional practice in a sensible way. The following issues were identified as requiring further research: those dimensions of LS that are most important when considering adult learners; effects of demographic variables on LS; LS stability; ways of applying information about LS in instruction and accommodating individual LS; relationships between environment and LS; and ways of empowering learners through knowledge of their own styles. (Contains 40 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A