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Third Update on Adult Learning Theory

New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education

Third Update on Adult Learning Theory by Sharan B. Merriam
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This Third Update on Adult Learning Theory followstwo earlier volumes on the same topic, the firstpublished in 1993 and the secondin 2001. Only one topic, transformative learning theory, can befound in all three updates, representing the continuingdevelopments in research and alternative theoretical conceptions ofTL.

Thanks to a growing body of research and theory-building, threetopics briefly touched on in 2001 are now separate chapters in thisthird update:

  • spirituality and adult learning
  • learning through the body
  • narrative learning in adulthood

Also new in this update is a chapter on non-Western perspectiveson learning and knowing. New developments in two other areas arealso explored: understanding the connection between the brain andlearning, and how modern and postmodern ways of knowing areconverging and are bring expressed in social movements. Theconcluding chapter identifies two trends in adult learning theoryfor the twenty-first century: attention to context, and to theholistic nature of learning in adulthood.

This is 119th volume of the Jossey-Bass quarterly report seriesNewDirections for Adult and Continuing Education. Noted forits depth of coverage, New Directions for Adult andContinuing Education is an indispensable series thatexplores issues of common interest to instructors, administrators,counselors, and policymakers in a broad range of adult andcontinuing education settings, such as colleges and universities,extension programs, businesses, libraries, and museums.

Wiley; January 2010
96 pages; ISBN 9781118045534
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Title: Third Update on Adult Learning Theory
Author: Sharan B. Merriam
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