Newer Approaches to Adult Learning

Newer Approaches to Adult Learning

Two biologically rooted approaches that instructors may use in order to facilitate learning for adults include, the behaviourist and cognitive learning theories. These learning theories focus on the ability of the learner to learn and retain the knowledge for later use (Taylor & Hamdy, 2013). The capability of the learner in their adulthood to participate in learning and excel can be explained using the earning theories mentioned. The behaviourist theory mainly supports the fact that learning is expected to take place when the learner gets accustomed to a specific routine. For instance, a learner may be required to develop skills on how to drive a car. This is a task that initially demands that the cognitive capability of the learner is high. This way, the learner will remember how to use the vehicle controls while on the road. With time, the learner uses their behavioural learning capabilities to drive the car. They are capable of ensuring that they do not obstruct. Cause accidents or hit walls out of habit. Doing the task regularly enables them to drive the car effortlessly. 

When looking at the biological capabilities of learners, cognitive learning theory solely depends on the mental capability of the learner. This is informed by the hereditary learning capability of the learners each time. Car controls today are using more technology integration compared to years before. This means that even the people who drove cars earlier on may have challenges adapting to the newer versions of the same cars. However, as adults, they can learn faster and easier because they understand the importance. Additionally, they are aware that technology cannot be avoided in the manufacturing of cars and they have to go with the flow.


Taylor, D. M., & Hamdy, H. (2013). Adult learning theories: Implications for learning and teaching in medical education: AMEE Guide No. 83. Medical Teacher, 1561-1572.

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