Adult Learning and Development: Perspectives from Educational Psychology by Smith and Pourchot – Literature review Example

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The paper "Adult Learning and Development: Perspectives from Educational Psychology by Smith and Pourchot" is a great example of a literature review on psychology. I- Overview to adult learning and development Adult education, as a field in its own right, emerged during the 1950s as corporations began establishing training departments and providing a wide range of educational programs for employees. Perspectives on adult learning have changed dramatically over the decades. According to Cranton “ Adult learning has been viewed as a process of being freed from the oppression of being illiterate, a means of gaining knowledge and skills, a way to satisfy learner needs, and a process of critical self-reflection that can lead to transformation.

The phenomenon of adult learning is complex and difficult to capture in any one definition. ” (Cranton, p.3) Traditionally, educational psychologists have studied individual differences in learning and development, and have made significant contributions to measurement, testing, instructional practices, and cognition, particularly as these subjects relate to schooling. For the most part, the subjects of study in these investigations have been children, as educational psychologists were apparently content to focus their concerns on patterns of learning and change in childhood and adolescence.

In fact, some writers have suggested that, during much of the first half of this century, educational psychologists were little interested in education having retreated to their laboratories. The problems of adult learning could not be said to occupy the minds and the work of educational psychologists. The educational psychologists whose work appears in this book recognize that learning and development occur both inside and outside of school, taking place in families, at work, and in other socializing contexts and situations.

They understand that learning and development are lifelong processes. Adult life is complex and richly colored by many variables that affect these developmental and learning processes. Adults move in and out of personal relationships, marry and divorce, raise children, establish careers and work in one or more occupations over a period of four or more decades, care for aging parents and/or grandchildren, and confront their own aging (not always successfully). They interact with various social, communities, commercial, governmental, legal, and educational institutions across the whole of their lives.    


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Thomas Pourchot, M Cecil Smith “Adult Learning and Development: Perspectives from Educational Psychology” Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ. Publication, pp. 133-134, 1998.

Wagner, D.A., & Venezky, R.L. “Adult literacy: The next generation.” Educational

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