ERIC Number: ED434631
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Adult Students in the College Classroom.
Barker, Thomas S.; Sturdivant, V. Ann; Smith, Howard W., Jr.
This paper examines what is known (and not known) about adult college students. It reports on a study which compared different age groups in different types of institutions and reviews the research about how adults learn and methodologies for teaching adults. The study compared age distributions at four Texas institutions: the University of North Texas, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Dallas, and Art Institutes International. Analysis of the age demographics at the four institutions indicates that the vast majority of graduate students are age 25 and over; the number of undergraduate students age 25 and over varies widely between the four institutions. A review of adult learning theories offers one theory suggesting that educators of adults who are interested in improving teaching use a cycle involving questioning, theorizing, testing, and reflection. Other reviews of the literature address such concerns as whether the literature adequately addresses the concerns of educators of adults, how teaching can be improved, and who is responsible for improving teaching. The paper concludes that there continues to be a need for research about adult student learning and that college programs need to recognize how older students differ from traditional students. (Contains 36 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A