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The Chain-of-Response in Adult Learning

The second is called situational characteristics, and includes variables such as Part-Time Learning Versus Full-Time Learning, and Voluntary Learning Versus Compulsory Learning. In the case study given, we can see that the subject was motivated to learn, and even though he had difficulty learning, he does not appear to have suffered from low self-esteem. There was congruence between his participation and his anticipated learning outcome. He was working to secure his lower-order needs for security and safety, so was free to pursue satisfaction of his higher-order needs of achievement and self-actualization. He was able to see the rewards of his work by gradually moving up the occupational ladder as he succeeded in his studies. Thus, he was a perfect example of success under the COR model.

Alan B. Knox is the Adult Learning professor at the University of Wisconsin, and has been involved in Adult Learning for nearly 40 years (Hiemstra). Knox identified a need to have certain proficiencies for helping adults learn, and these included understanding the field of continuing education, understanding adults as learners, having a positive attitude towards lifelong learning, and obtaining effective interpersonal relationship skills. He also set up areas of proficiency for administrators, teachers, counselors, and policy makers with regard to adult education. Knox defined proficiency as ˘the capability to perform satisfactorily if given the opportunity,÷ and by performance he meant a combination of attitude, knowledge and skill.

Knox believed teachers and learners needed to understand discrepancies that might exist between current and desired proficiencies (Hiemstra). He believed understanding these discrepancies helped to explain the motives of adult learners and enabled those who help them to do so responsively and effectively. He believed proficiency-oriented learning had the highest potential for helping adult learners. Com...

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