ERIC Number: ED440275
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
The Experiences of Adult Undergraduate Students--What Shapes Their Learning?
Graham, Steven W.; Donaldson, Joe F.; Kasworm, Carol; Dirkx, John
The Model of College Outcomes for Adults explains why adults might do as well as traditional students, despite limited participation and involvement in traditional residential learning experiences. The model's six components are prior experience and personal biographies; psychosocial and value orientation; adult cognition; life-world environment; college outcomes; and the connecting classroom. The connecting classroom provides an organizing metaphor to articulate the relationships, processes, and interactions essential for effective adult undergraduate learning. This metaphor has the following four key issues: ethos of an adult-oriented environment, learning of expertise, nature of the teaching learning process, and living in a multicultural learning society. The reflective, contemplative nature of the classroom setting provides the potential for integrating and connecting the adult's prior knowledge and experiences with the subject matter and, as a result, reconstructing their life-worlds. The connecting classroom conceptualization of the adult learner's experience suggests that adult learners are influencing institutional practices, procedures, and policies; instructional policies; and teachers' understandings and expectations of what it means to be a college student, what meaningful experiences are, and the potential development of understandings beyond an academic context and prior knowledge of the current world. (Contains 44 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).