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ERIC Number: ED448304
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Contextual Learning in Adult Education. Practice Application Brief No. 12.
Imel, Susan
Contextual learning is rooted in a constructivist approach to teaching and learning. According to constructivist theory, individuals learn by constructing meaning through interacting with and interpreting their environments. Current perspectives on what it means for learning to be contextualized include the following: situated cognition, social cognition, and distributed cognition. Contextual learning has the following characteristics: emphasizes problem solving; recognizes that teaching and learning need to occur in multiple contexts; assists students in learning how to monitor their learning and thereby become self-regulated learners; anchors teaching in the diverse life context of students; encourages students to learn from each other; and employs authentic assessment. Because constructivist learning theory maintains that learning is a process of constructing meaning from experience, it is congruent with much of adult learning, including self-direction, transformative learning, and situated cognition. Contextual approaches have been particularly popular in adult literacy, welfare-to-work, workplace education, and family literacy programs, where learner contexts are used to integrate academic content with learners' life experiences. When using contextual learning in their classrooms, adult educators should consider the following recommendations for practice: (1) select an approach reflecting the complex contexts of learners' lives; (2) examine materials for bias; (3) avoid imposing the perspectives of others; and (4) use the group as a resource. (MN)
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Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.