I hope you are doing well.
This week I would like to direct you to a particular part of Malcolm Knowles’ The Adult Learner. Once again, you might want to read the sections prior to the Chapter I am about to share with you — Chapter 6 — The Andragogical Process Model.
I have bi-passed Chapter 5. Let me explain why. While Chapter 5, Theories of Teaching is important, the theories are somewhat dated in terms of what we now know with some of the latest neuroscience studies. Even so, the chapter might be useful to some of you. Many of you will already be quite familiar with most of the theories already from your previous education studies. I will briefly summarize Chapter 5 here.
Knowles starts Chapter 5 by making a distinction between teaching theories and learning theories:
Theories of learning deal with the ways in which an organism learns, whereas theories of teaching deal with the ways in which a person influences an organism to learn. p. 73
Knowles goes on to outline the distinctions of teaching and learning articulated by Hilgard. These distinctions are based on Stimulus-Response (S-R) theory , cognitive theory , and motivation and personality theory. These distinctions were given because it was believed that they would be largely acceptable to everyone. If you are interested you can see a table listing these principles on page 74. And, if you do read them, you will find that they all sound very familiar and reasonable. They are, for a large part, what we have come to believe, or what we have been taught to believe, about teaching and learning. We get a smattering of stimulus-response, behaviorism, and motivation-based theories. He then goes on to examine the ways that animal studies and children studies support these theories, and how these animal/child studies might inform adult learning. We hear about Gagne’s work — something very influential in the way we learned to structure our own lessons in the past.
Knowles then, on page 84, considers how teaching might differ when we consider adult learning rather than child learning. And we do see a difference. We get the inclusion of Rogers’ ideas of facilitation (teacher as facilitator), Maslow (you recall his hierarchy of needs), Houle (situational learning), and Tough’s ideas of the importance of caring and helping. On page 92 Knowles discusses Dewey’s contributions to the ideas of experiential learning, democracy, continuity and interaction, and inquiry. Bruner (discovery can cooperative learning) and Bandura (modeling) also make the cut.
Finally, Knowles incorporates the idea of Change Theory and system theories.
He summaries this chapter in this way:
S UMMARY Theories of learning differ from theories of teaching. Various researchers have studied the topics of learning and teaching theories and the teaching/learning interaction. Consequently, a variety of theories exist about the nature of teaching and the teacher’s role. Gage recognizes the distinction between the two theoretical frameworks, and asserts that learning theories address methods of learning, whereas teaching theories address the methods employed to influence learning. Understandably, there is a strong correlation between learning and teaching theories: the learning theory(ies) adopted by the teacher affect the teaching theory(ies) employed. Both learning theories and teaching theories have played a prominent role in the research efforts, providing both principles of teaching and teaching concepts. Hilgard’s contribution is the identification of a schema of 20 learning principles from stimulus-response, cognitive, and motivation and personality theories. He used prominent theorists with similar notions about the roles of teachers to validate his premise. These Theories of learning differ from theories of teaching. Various researchers have studied the topics of learning and teaching theories and the teaching/learning interaction. Consequently, a variety of theories exist about the nature of teaching and the teacher’s role. Gage recognizes the distinction between the two theoretical frameworks, and asserts that learning theories address methods of learning, whereas teaching theories address the methods employed to influence learning. Understandably, there is a strong correlation between learning and teaching theories: the learning theory(ies) adopted by the teacher affect the teaching theory(ies) employed. Both learning theories and teaching theories have played a prominent role in the research efforts, providing both principles of teaching and teaching concepts. Hilgard’s contribution is the identification of a schema of 20 learning principles from stimulus-response, cognitive, and motivation and personality theories. He used prominent theorists with similar notions about the roles of teachers to validate his premise. These
Knowles, Malcolm S., et al. The Adult Learner : The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, Taylor & Francis Group, 2005. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/wou/detail.action?docID=232125.
Created from wou on 2020-10-19 14:17:10.
Now back to the point about these theories being a bit dated
I started by suggesting that the theorists Knowles uses in Chapter 5 dated and even problematic in some ways. This is the reason why: These theories are built on a tabula rasa interpretation of the brain and learning. The theories are premised on the idea that there is an objective reality shared by teacher and student that can be given to a student (or a passive brain). The student can perceive a reality that is shared by teacher. We have enough research now that puts these beliefs into doubt. I will talk more about this in the weeks to follow.
So, while Knowles’ does provide a nice discussion and summary of teaching and learning theories, I am sure you are already quite familiar with many of them. Furthermore, if these theories are losing their legitimacy because of our new understanding of the working of the brain, it seems less important to spend much time on these theories. Having said that, if you are planning on teaching in a college or university, it is important to know these theories well. So this might act as a nice refresher.
Chapter 6 is more relevant to our purposes in this class. I have included a pdf of Chapter 6 here. I think you will find this chapter to be worth your time and effort to read. I think you will find it interesting because you will encounter a different group of theorists not typically referenced in our teacher education programs. These theorists deal more with creating climates conducive to learning — something that is emphasized in adult learning. You might also find this important and relevant if you are designing workshops, training environments, adult curriculum, or collaborative interactions. Knowles focus is more on process and environment here.
So for today’s response, I ask that you read this chapter, the Andragogical Process Model, and provide a brief summary of the main ideas. In addition, if you are able to give any examples of how these ideas might be of value in adult learning environments that you would possibly create, I would love to hear those.
On to the theme of the day (or an extension of Chapter 6 if you have time)
The following topic, experiential learning can be used as a theme or to compliment your Chapter 6 reading. It is probably too much to do the Chapter 6 review and this section on experiential learning, but I think you will find it interesting — even if you try to skim through some of it. There are a number of video clips, as well as some interesting articles on the topic near the end. I think you will find this interesting. While they are geared toward young adults, the ideas are applicable to all ages (I think).
I begin with a talk given by Martin Henz. Primarily engineering examples for university-aged students, but easily considered for all ages. The question–one that I have often wondered about–is the question of scalability.
Is experiential learning scalable? | Martin Henz | TEDxNUS
Learning by doing?
Experiential Learning Is Not Learning By Doing – Facilitator Tips Episode 37
Please take note when he says, experiential learning is not the same as learning by doing. There is a necessary reflective component involved.
Ryerson University – Experiential Learning in China
Experiential Learning Stories: Anthropology 6
Experiential Learning Stories: Curricular Connections
Experiential Learning Stories: Dartmouth Vietnam Project
Experiential Learning Stories: Telling My Story
Experiential Learning and Simulation Center at Samford University’s College of Health Sciences
This video will provide you with some background into the theoretical aspects (and design) of experiential learning.
8 Things To Know About the Experiential Learning Cycle (FULL)
The Power of Experiential Learning
The Lasting Impacts of Experiential Learning
Experiential Learning at Harvard: How Field Study Unlocks Leadership Lessons
Although this next article speaks to middle school students, there is some good background that might be of value if your Master’s thesis involves experiential learning.
I hope you found some of these ideas useful and interesting.
Until next time, have a great week