The concepts of independence and interdependence have considerable effect in cultural and age-related understandings of growth and development. For this question, address the following:
- How would a young adult from an independence-oriented culture think of learning and motivation? An older adult?
- How would a young adult from an interdependence-oriented culture think of learning and motivation? An older adult?
- How could an educator from the opposite culture address these learners’ needs?
Studying the intersection of adult development and adult learning can be challenging, particularly when one considers that the question of whether adults develop was only first considered legitimate about 30 years ago (not a long time, in academic terms). Further, there remain scholars who debate the legitimacy of adult learning theory as distinct from learning theory as a whole. When both subjects are in question, the intersection can become ambiguous. Thus, much of what you learn during this week is as cutting edge as theory can possibly be.
Connecting Adult Development to Learning
· Hoare, C. (Ed.). (2006).
Handbook of adult development and learning: A handbook of theory, research, and practice.
Oxford University Press.
. In Part I, “Foundations,” read Chapter 1, “Growing a Discipline at the Borders of Thought,” pages 3–26.
. This chapter explains what is meant by the intersection of adult development and adult learning.
· In Part I, “Foundations,” read Chapter 2, “Learning and Development: The Connection in Adulthood,” pages 27–51.
. Chapter 2 explains the groundwork that has gone into establishing the intersection of adult development and adult learning as a key area of interest in understanding the adult experience.
· In Part II, “Do Development and Learning Fuel One Another in Adulthood?,” read Chapter 5, “Intellectual Development Across Adulthood,” pages 99–122.
. In Chapter 5, preeminent psychosocial gerontologist K. Warner Schaie and his colleague describe the foundational aspects of adult intelligence, how that understanding has moved from the descriptive to process models, and the potential for interventions to actually improve adult intelligence—a concept once thought impossible.
· In Part III, “The Self-System in Adult Development and Learning,” read Chapter 8, “Self-Efficacy and Adult Development,” pages 169–195.
. Self-efficacy refers to a person’s beliefs about his or her own ability to make decisions freely and manage life successfully. In a world with few innovations, where people lived as their families had always lived, self-efficacy was not questioned. But in times of rapid change—whatever the reason for that change (war, technology, economic collapse, et cetera)—one’s sense of self-efficacy can be compromised. The psychology of adaptation is increasingly a distinct area of adult development.
· In Part V, “Essential Contexts for the Learning, Developing Adult,” read Chapter 18, “Culture, Learning, and Adult Development,” pages 407–430.
. “Adult learning is located at the interface of people’s biography and the socioeconomic milieu in which they live” (Hoare, 2006, p. 424), greatly affecting perspectives of competence and personal motivation. Understanding this concept is essential for an educator of adults.