ERIC Number: ED396159
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
What Is Adult Learning? Course Design Issues in Educational Psychology.
Block, Karen K.
Since "adult learning" is not a well-defined field, the content of any graduate course called "Adult Learning" could be fairly arbitrary. Moreover, when such a course is aimed at applied psychology and education students, learning outcomes such as problem-solving and applications are of utmost importance. Two major curricular topics--course content and learning outcomes-- must be analyzed in order to determine how they are germane to adult learning courses. Discussion of learning outcomes shows that "principle application," the traditional objective of learning courses, is both too simple to follow and unlikely to be valid. A transition to a problem-solving or case approach is suggested. Models for course content can be based on the relative emphasis given learning versus development. Five models can be arranged along a continuum: (1) emphasis on learning types or theories; (2) emphasis on knowledge domains; (3) emphasis on settings/situations; (4) use of a nonstructural developmental approach; and (5) focus on acquisition of general structures or processes. In this content domain, curricular gaps, as well as knowledge needs generated by students of the domain, are important stimulants for research. For example, since students who take these courses are often at midlife, more research on this life stage is desired. (Contains 45 references.) (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A