Human development is an imperative process that permits the individual to transcend from one stage of development to another. It is imperative to mention that both biological and social changes accompany the mentioned development. Interesting to mention is the fact that the end of the adolescent stage, the individual start to face adult development stages. The stages have made adult more committed, selfless and less emotional. Also, as adults develop they indulge in social interaction that further changes their perception towards life. Similarly, adult learning process is essential to the life of each and every individual. The mentioned process usually commence at the age of 19 years. Adult learning provides an individual with knowledge and skills that are vital for immediate use. The mentioned knowledge has assisted employees to expand the profitability of the organization. Evidently, experience plays a key role in the adult learning. The experience enables the adults to acquire the knowledge and apply the same knowledge in the necessary field. Interestingly, creativity and innovation has been the end results of adult learning. Several theories have been put forth in explaining what takes place during adult learning and adult development. The paper seeks to explain what takes place during the adult learning and adult development, to achieve the mentioned aim; the paper uses various theories of adult learning and adult development.
Prevalently, several theories and concepts have been put forth in explaining the adult learning process. A notable fact is that as the child develops mentally, he/she surpasses myriad stages of development. As the age click to 19 years, a differential social and biological development takes place. The mentioned features depict adult development as the readied stage to acquire knowledge and skills in the adult learning.
Several theorists completely agree that the fifth stage of adult development presents a researching ground for better understanding of the learning needs of adult. The fifth stage is a problem finding stage. At the mentioned stage, the mind of adults generates more questions than answers. The adult learning, therefore, impart the adult with knowledge and skills that intend to provide amiable answers to the asked questions during the fifth stage.
Imperative to mention is that for learning to bear fruit then multiple intelligences are vital. Just to mention but a few, interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people. On the other hand, intrapersonal intelligence is the ability of an individual to understand him or herself whilst Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to solve problems.
According to Jarvis (2010), adult learning embraces theories that are constantly put in practice when an opportunity occurs. In view of the above, the theories endeavors to explain that adult learning is practical and knowledge acquired must be put into immediate use. Arguably, real adult learning commence with possession of experience. Devoid of experience completely impede the learning process. In essence, without experience there is no learning. Apparently, the pre-experience accelerates the adult learning process whilst the post-experience permit the learner to bring effective change in the necessary field.
Malcolm Knowles came up with two concepts; andragogy and pedagogy. The pedagogy concept is applicable in child learning, therefore, not useful in this context. The andragogy concept is art and science that greatly assist adult in learning. The mentioned theorist dubbed andragogy concept as an emerging theory that intend to facilitate the progression or rather the development and implementation of learning activities for adults.
The emerging technology established by Knowles find its ground on a number of assumptions. Need to know assumption explains that for adult learning to be a success then adults must vividly know the reason for learning. Experience assumption asserts that adult needs to have experience that will essentially aid the learning process. Self-Concept assumption stipulates that the adult ought to be responsible for any decision they made, more so on education. Readiness assumption demands that the adult should be ready to apply the knowledge acquired through learning in their new social roles. Orientation assumption expects adult to apply the new knowledge immediately in problem solving. Motivation assumption explains that the motivation permit the adults to learn from internal factors. Application of the mentioned assumptions leads to an effective learning process.
A notable fact is that a favorable environment is essential in the learning process. The mentioned environment must provide the learner with ample time for reflection and analysis. For organizations that incorporate adult learning, then it must factor in time consideration. Rothwell (2008) argues that the time factor can either impact the adult learning positively or negative. In view of the above, the organizations ought to balance the time pressure in adult learning.
The second theory is Experiential Learning theory which only dwells on the primary role that experience play in the adult learning process. The experience is a vital tool in adult learning process, as it permit adult to reflect, retain and transfer the knowledge in the learning process. The experience permits the adult to apply the newly acquired knowledge in the required fields. Prevalently, concrete experience enables the adult to observe and reflect, secondly; the mentioned experience permit the learner to form abstract concepts (Jarvis, 2010). The cited concept provides a venue for the new implication for action. The mentioned experience is then put into practice in testing new situations.
Austrian (2008) explains that adult development connotes to both physiological and psychological changes that take place at adult stage. The mentioned changes invariably emerge at the end of the adolescence stage and run through until the end of individual life. Imperative to mention is the fact that the two changes are gradual. Also, from the adult functionality the changes can reflect or rather depict positive, negative or no change. Clark & Cafarella (2011) affirm that biological changes are primarily responsible for both psychological and social changes in adults.
Erik Erikson developed psychosocial development theory that strives to explain what takes place in the adult development. He strongly argued that social interaction plays a major role in the adult development. He insisted that the mentioned interaction can either shape or plague the adult development. The mentioned theory encompasses the eight stages of development from birth to old age. A notable fact is that each stage of development has distinct characteristics.
Erikson further argued that as the adult develops, he/she may experience tension as they soar to a new stage. Through the mention tension, individual endeavors to institute equilibrium or rather a balance in each stage (Gines et al, 1998). Focusing on Erikson stage 7, Generativity versus Stagnation, at this stage individuals stamp out selfishness and channel their contributions and commitment to family, work, community, and society. The last stage of Erikson, Integrity versus Despair, in this stage individuals reflect their past life and come to terms with it. Apparently, the last stage provides individuals with no room for improvement.
Carl Jung’s theory, on the other hand, classifies the adult development into four stages. The theorist strongly believes that the human development is a function of reconciling divergent forces. The said forces seek to pull individuals at each stage of development. The second stage of development (youth stage, 35-40) provides individuals with growing awareness. At this stage individual gain independence and are ready to raise families. The Middle Life stage (40-60) expose individual to the realization that he/she will not live forever, thereby, creates tension. Jung argues that for an individual to ascertain self-realization then he/she must not cling to youth stage. Old Age stage (60 and above), at this stage the consciousness significantly reduces. The last stage provides the individuals with the reality that death is the critical goal of life. The mention assumption exterminates the anxiety of death but provides individuals with the hope for rebirth.
Prevalently, there is an explicit correlation between adult learning and adult development. The fact is as adults undergo various stages of development, incorporation of learning in the stages is vital. Clark & Cafarella (2011) affirms that during the life cycle of a human being, critical development majorly takes place in the adult stage. Not to mention, adult gather enough experience that is essential in the adult learning process. The mentioned experience permits individuals to reflect the past, as well as applying the experience in newly social role.
. According to the literature review of Rothwell (2008), environment is a functionality of either success or failure of both adult learning and development. A considerable time permits individuals to reflect their past, thereby, attaining the needed experience. Similarly, less amount of time might punctuate the reflection time. Furthermore, environment is a key in the adult development, according to Erikson a positive environment should permit social interactions of individuals. The fact is both adult learning and development is compatible as it imparts the developed individual with the imperative knowledge needed in the newly social role.
Austrian, S. G. (2008). Development Theories through the Life Cycle. New York: Columbia University Press.
Clark, M. C., and Caffarella, R. S. (2011). An update on the Adult Development Theory: New Ways of Thinking about the Life Course. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Gines et al. (1998). Development Psychology. Phillippines: Rex Bookstore, Inc
Jarvis, P. (2010). Adult Education and Lifelong Learning: Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge
Rothwell, W. J. (2008). Adult Learning Basics. USA: The American Society for Training and Development.