Shared Flashcard Set


HSED 643
Not Applicable

Additional Education Flashcards




Adult Learning Theory

K.P. Cross

Cross Presents Characteristics of Adults as Learners (CAL) in context of analysis of lifelong learning programs

 2 Classes of Characteristics

1. Personal (Aging, life phases and developmental stages)

2. Situational (part time versus full time learning and voluntary versus compulsory learning)



1. Adult learning programs should capitalize on the experience of participants.

2. Adult learning programs should adapt to the aging limitations of the participants.

3. Adults should be challenged to move to increasingly advanced stages of personal development.

4. Adults should have as much choice as possible in the availability and organization of learning programs.


Malcom Knowles

Adults are self-directed and expect to take responsibility for decisions. Adult learning programs must accommodate this fundamental aspect.



1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.

2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities.

3. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life.

4. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented.

Experiential Learning Theory

Carl Rogers

Two types of learning: cognitive (meaningless) and experiential (significant). Experiential learning is equivalent to personal change and growth. All human beings have a natural propensity to learn; the role of the teacher is to facilitate such learning.


1. Significant learning takes place when the subject matter is relevant to the personal interests of the student

2. Learning which is threatening to the self (e.g., new attitudes or perspectives) are more easily assimilated when external threats are at a minimum

3. Learning proceeds faster when the threat to the self is low

4. Self-initiated learning is the most lasting and pervasive.

Information Processing Theory

George A. Miller

Provided two theoretical ideas that are fundamental to cognitive psychology and the information processing framework.


1. Chunking: Capacity of short term memory. A chunk could refer to digits, words, chess positions, or people's faces.

2. TOTE (Test-Operate-Test-Exit): TOTE should replace the stimulus-response as the basic unit of behavior. In a TOTE unit, a goal is tested to see if it has been achieved and if not an operation is performed to achieve the goal



1. Short term memory (or attention span) is limited to seven chunks of information.

2. Planning (in the form of TOTE units) is a fundamental cognitive process.

3. Behavior is hierarchically organized (e.g., chunks, TOTE units).

Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner

Many distinct forms of intelligence that each individual possesses in varying degrees.


Seven primary forms: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, intrapersonal (e.g., insight, metacognition) and interpersonal (e.g., social skills).


1. Individuals should be encouraged to use their preferred intelligences in learning.

2. Instructional activities should appeal to different forms of intelligence.

3. Assessment of learning should measure multiple forms of intelligence.

Script Theory

Roger Schank

Conceptual Scripts: Plans and themes to handle story-level understanding.


1. Conceptualization is defined as an act or doing something to an object in a direction.

2. All conceptualizations can be analyzed in terms of a small number of primative acts.

3. All memory is episodic and organized in terms of scripts.

4. Scripts allow individuals to make inferences and hence understand verbal/written discourse. 5. Higher level expectations are created by goals and plans.

Situated Learning

Jean Lave

Social interaction is a critical component: learners become involved in a "community of practice" which embodies certain beliefs and behaviors to be acquired. Situated learning is usually unintentional rather than deliberate.



1. Knowledge needs to be presented in an authentic context, i.e., settings and applications that would normally involve that knowledge.

2. Learning requires social interaction and collaboration.

Social Learning

Albert Bandura

Emphasizes the ability to learn new response through observation and imitation of others



  1. The highest level of observational learning is achieved by first organizing and rehearsing the modeled behavior symbolically and then enacting it overtly. Coding modeled behavior into words, labels or images results in better retention than simply observing. 
  2. Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if it results in outcomes they value. 
  3. Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if the model is similar to the observer and has admired status and the behavior has functional value.




Attribution Theory

Bernard Weiner

How individuals interpret events and how this relates to their thinking and behavior.



1. Attribution is a three stage process: (1) behavior is observed, (2) behavior is determined to be deliberate, and (3) behavior is attributed to internal or external causes.

2. Achievement can be attributed to (1) effort, (2) ability, (3) level of task difficulty, or (4) luck.

3. Causal dimensions of behavior are (1) locus of control, (2) stability, and (3) controllability.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Leon Festinger

Tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions).



1. Dissonance results when an individual must choose between attitudes and behaviors that are contradictory.

2. Dissonance can be eliminated by reducing the importance of the conflicting beliefs, acquiring new beliefs that change the balance, or removing the conflicting attitude or behavior.

Constructivist Theory

Jerome Bruner

Learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge.



1. Instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that make the student willing and able to learn (readiness).

2. Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student (spiral organization).

3. Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given).

Transformational Theory

Jack Mezirow

An orientation which holds that the way learners interpret and reinterpret their sense experience is, central to making meaning and hence learning”



1. Adult exhibit two kinds of learning: instrumental (e.g., cause/effect) and communicative (e.g., feelings)

2. Learning involves change to meaning structures (perspectives and schemes).

3. Change to meaning structures occurs through reflection about content, process or premises.

4. Learning can involve: refining/elaborating meaning schemes, learning new schemes, transforming schemes, or transforming perspectives.

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