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Inft 101 Luo Adult Learning Theory

In: People

Submitted By shaleighwilliams
Words 1389
Pages 6
Shaleigh Williams
INFT 101-B60 LUO
March 6, 2013
In the article “Adult learning Disorders: Contemporary Issues” the authors discuss a book that is made of 4 different parts: Development, Neurobiology and Specific Learning Disorders, Diagnosis and Assessment, and Life Outcomes. Throughout the article they break down those different parts into what each one actually means. The article “Adult Learning Theory for the Twenty-First Century” discusses the ways that adult learning and all of its theories change and have changed over time and how drastically they have changed.
The first part, Development, discusses different theories for understanding different adult learning disorders. Those chapters talk about how some learning disorders may have sex-related differences among the disorders. It also discusses how certain adults with a variety of learning disabilities might have atypical brain development. If a person that is determining a disability uses a model of an atypical brain development, it could possibly help them better understand a need for a very flexible plan of treatment. The second part, Neurobiology and Specific Learning Disorders, explains a case where a graduate student who is high functioning was having a lot of issues keeping up with the extraneous amounts of reading and work even though he is very intelligent because he was not able to absorb the information. It also discusses the problems that adults with nonverbal learning disabilities, especially emotional ones, will face throughout their lives.
Part three, Diagnosis and Assessment, is like an instruction of diagnosing. It discusses how a doctor must look deeper than the test results to see how a person may complete activities in their daily lives at work, school etc. The book also states how it is very important to provide reasons for any special accommodations rather than a list of things needed. Part four, Life Outcomes, talks about lives of people who had childhood brain tumors and cancer and survived it. It provides us with a list of ways that many people can follow while they are making decisions for accommodating those who have survived those conditions. It also describes extremely helpful work and school accommodations.
The author describes adult learning as a complex phenomenon which cannot be explained in just a single and simple definition. She says that adult learning is where old ideas are constantly being shifted around and new ideas are being pieced together while cooperating with the old ideas. Adult learning is so much of an ever changing process and idea that the author states that all the information we have today on adult learning will probably be inaccurate within a year from now. History and cultural context are major components in the ways that people understand the way adults learn. The article describes that there is research that is starting to look at and study how the space of an office or area at a person’s workplace can either discourage or encourage the process of learning. The author also thinks that adult learning has to do with activities involving a person’s body, their emotions, their mind and their very spirit. The two articles both discuss different aspects of the adult learning theory. The first article I have discussed has 4 main points in it. It breaks down a book it is reviewing into four different parts, Development, Neurobiology and Specific Learning Disorders, Diagnosis and assessment, and Life Outcomes. The second article talks about how adult learning is always changing and is growing to be more and more complex as time goes by.

I definitely agree with what both articles are talking about. I really enjoyed that in “Adult Learning Disorders” they really discussed how you have to look at more areas, rather than just an IQ test, as well as looking at the social and emotional status of an adult to determine any disorders. In the “Adult Learning Theory for the Twenty-First Century” I agreed with the statement that learning theory is always changing and how it is not just black and white and that there are a lot of different aspects that affect adult learning.
In “Adult Learning Disorders”, they discussed that you must look at how an adult functions at work and at school before they are diagnosed with a disorder. I am glad that psychologists are starting to look at other areas before diagnosing. By looking at all aspects, doctors do not misdiagnose nearly as much as what they used to in the past. Some of these adult learning disorder theories could be put into great use with children as well. When diagnosing a person, it is better to look at all aspects of life before diagnosing anyone, all across the board, adults or children.
By looking at social and emotional aspects of an adult’s life they can determine which disorder a person has between two or three disorders that have very similar symptoms. Last year when I was attending the University of Tennessee-Knoxville I was having a lot of problems in focusing or my school work, staying attentive long enough to actually do my school work and listening in class, getting started on a big project, staying focused while having conversations with people, and even being able to keep my focus on household chores that I had to do. I went to the counseling center at school for answers and my counselor started testing me for ADHD after I told him the symptoms. After interviewing me, my mother and my fiancé, they were able to determine after looking at my social life, my emotional health, my current stresses, and my childhood behavior that I actually was not suffering from ADHD but that I have Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorder. If the doctors had just looked at the problems I was dealing with there is an extremely high chance that I would have been diagnosed with ADHD and been put on medication for it which would have had the complete opposite results because I actually do not have ADHD.
The author of “Adult Learning Theory for the Twenty-First Century”, Sharon Merriam, is spot on with her statement that adult learning theory is ever changing. Our understanding of learning in any ages is always changing due to the upgrades we have in technology and being able to study the brain more closely. When dealing with adult learning you have to look at everything that surrounds adult learning. This includes everything from where the learning is taking place to why the learning is taking place. She goes on to talk about how spatiality and physical space can hurt or encourage learning. When I do my school work I do it sitting on my futon in my bedroom because I do not have a desk. I feel that this fact really damages my learning and does not allow me to focus at my greatest ability. Having a proper place to do school work allows for more focusing to happen and more comfort. Last night I mentioned to a friend that I really wish I had a desk to work at so I could have more room to work and have my papers that I need laying out next to me. By doing work in my room this gives me more of a desire to sleep, watch television, or play my instruments, which is what I normally do in my room. Sitting at a desk or even at a kitchen table provides a better ability to have proper posture and more room to work. The area that an adult works in seriously enables or disables him/her in their studies and their ability to learn and produce quality work.
The two articles provided both touch base on different aspects of adult learning. However, they both discuss very similar things. The articles talked about how learning is ever- changing, how a lot of different aspects must be looked at to determine any types of learning disorders, and that when determining a person’s learning ability one must look at other areas other than just an IQ test.

Kathleen O'Toole, Lorraine E, Hope, E., & Jeanette Wolf. (2010). Adult learning disorders: Contemporary issues. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society: JINS, 16(1), 215-216.

Merriam, S. B. (2008), Adult learning theory for the twenty-first century. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 2008: 93–98.

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