ERIC Number: ED473640
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Towards a Critical Theory of Adult Learning/Education: Transformational Theory and Beyond.
Wilson, Arthur L.; Kiely, Richard C.
Empirical research on adult learning conducted by Jack Mezirow in the 1970s was revolutionary and groundbreaking and contributed to the creation of a critical theory of adult learning. His influence has remained at the forefront of adult education theory for over two decades. It is timely to consider whether other empirical research has contributed in like manner to the field of adult learning. A selective review of transformational literature suggested that little innovation equal to the significance of Mezirow's work has occurred. Although empirical studies have added to the field's understanding of different aspects of transformational learning, most have only re-worked or tinkered with Mezirow's pioneering studies. Significant issues that require continued attention in constructing a critical theory of adult learning/education are the following: (1) a conceptual understanding of self-society relations; (2) greater understanding of the role of power in the interaction between teacher and adult learner; and (3) a lessening of the mechanism of "dialog" in critical adult learning. (Included is one table that compares Mezirow's key points with those of these four contemporary researchers: Stephen Brookfield, M. Hart, E. Tisdell, M. Welton. The bibliography lists 23 references). (AJ)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, Adult Students, Andragogy, Critical Thinking, Educational Research, Educational Researchers, Educational Theories, Experiential Learning, Learning Strategies, Learning Theories, Lifelong Learning, Literature Reviews, Postsecondary Education, Power Structure, Social Environment, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Transformative Learning
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A