Employing concepts and authors found in the textbook, along with personal examples, analyze the concepts of reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action.



Assignment 3: Adult Learning Theory

1. Read: Chapters 4-7 in Merriam, S. B. & Caffarella, R. S. (2007) Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (3rd. Edition).

2. View: Mini-lecture on andragogy by Janet Finlay (2010) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLoPiHUZbEw&feature=related

3. Choose 1 of the following 2 options for Assignment 3:

  • Option 1: Knowles, Illeris, Jarvis, McClusky, Tough, Freire and Mezirow all developed influential models of adult learning. Analyze any 2 of these models, referring to the textbook and/or Finlay's 2010 youtube video. Please limit yourself to 2 theorists. In addition to citing the textbook or video, refer to your personal experiences with adult learning.        OR
  • Option 2: Employing concepts and authors found in the textbook, along with personal examples, analyze the concepts of reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action.

4.  Post your assignment on the Discussion Board so your group members can read it, and also upload a copy of your posting to the Assignment 3 dropbox. This assignment will graded in the dropbox.

Learning Objectives:

After completing the learning activities of this assignment, you should be able to:

1.     Recognize a variety of assumptions and models about adult learning that contribute to advancing understanding of adult learning theory.

2.     Compare and contrast some of the key elements of adult learning theory at play in the literature discussed in the textbook and in Finlay's (2010) youtube video.


In Chapters 4-7 of Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide, Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner(2007) claim that although distinguishing between how children and adults learn plays a role in the study of adult education, it is by no means the most significant concern in the study of learning throughout life. Finlay's (2010) video based discussion of the pedagogy/andragogy debate echoes ands expands on Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner's (2007) perspective. All the same, an introductory course about adult learning like this one would not be complete without a review of the place of pedagogy and andragogy in Western education found in chapter 4 of the text. One of strengths of Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide is the rich description the authors offer of alternative theories of adult learning developed by theorists such as Illeris, Jarvis, McClusky, Freire, Tough, and Mezirow. Reading these chapters will also expand your knowledge of a significant complexity in the field-adult education as an individual process in comparison to adult education as sociocultural phenomena.

As in Assignment 2, you are offering an analysis - based in your reading and viewing of the assigned resources. 

Components of Assignment 3:

You will write a short (400-500 words, double spaced, 12 font, 1 margins) document, which includes an introduction and a conclusion. Create your document in a word processing program (eg. Word), and use the word count tool to calculate how long your assignment is. Include a word count in your assignment text. Provide citations in the text and reference list at the end of your posting using APA (5th or 6th ed.) style. You will submit this assignment as a posting on the course discussion forum, by copying and pasting from your word processed document. Please also upload your posting to the assignment 3 dropbox. This assignment is worth 10% of your total grade. Please refer to the rubric (marking guide) below along with the Learning Objectives.

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