The Adult Learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development Paperback – February 5, 2015
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‘A great update of a classic. Should be required reading for anyone involved with adult learning in schools, businesses, and communities.’ - Sam Stern, professor and former dean, College of Education, Oregon State University, USA
‘This masterly and authoritative 8th edition of The Adult Learner provides a welcome update of Knowles, Holton and Swanson’s classic text. Its focus is both retrospective and prospective, offering the reader a comprehensive review of the theory and practice of adult education. It should be essential reading for those engaged in the field.’ - Prue Huddleston, Emeritus Professor, Centre for Education and Industry, University of Warwick, UK
‘Knowles, Holton and Swanson’s book is truly foundational to the understanding of adult education. The eighth edition renews its relevance to this age of information technology and advances in neuroscience, and reconfirms the timelessness of the core principles of adult learning.’ - Ming-Fai PANG, Associate Professor & Associate Dean (Cross-border & International Engagement), Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong
‘The Adult Learner continues to be an important and foundational work with increasing relevance in a variety of disciplines. Knowles, Holton and Swanson cover the theory and practice of how adults learn, including the contextual considerations. Their contribution should be required reading for anyone working with human expertise.’ - Thomas J. Chermack, Associate Professor, Organizational Learning, Performance and Change, Director, Scenario Planning Institute, Colorado State University, USA
‘That the fields of adult education and human resource development have evolved from simply positing that adults learn differently from children continues to be quite evident in this revised edition. The Adult Learner reflects its own subject matter by thoughtfully integrating new topics to the discussion. No other text provides such a comprehensive view of adults as learners in a range of contexts and relationships. Discussions about the principle of whole-part-whole, emerging issues related to information technology, and implications of neuroscience research to adult learning are particularly prescient. Designers of instruction and training programs would be well advised to consider this text as a critical resource, as careful reading brings forth much insightful and practical information.’ - Ronald L. Jacobs, Professor, Human Resource Development, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, USA
About the Author
Malcolm S. Knowles was one of the nation’s leading authorities on adult education and training. He was the founding executive director of the Adult Education Association, and Professor of Adult and Community College Education at North Carolina State University.
Elwood F. Holton III, Ed.D., is the Jones S. Davis Distinguished Professor of Human Resource Development and Adult Education at Louisiana State University.
Richard A. Swanson is Professor Emeritus of Organization Learning, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota.
- Publisher : Routledge; 8th edition (February 5, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 402 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0415739020
- ISBN-13 : 978-0415739023
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.14 x 0.91 x 9.21 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #216,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The first strength of this work is its dedication to enforcing the point that adults learn differently than adolescents and children. The authors never miss an opportunity to note this and explain it well in many places. This is something that I think all too often goes by the wayside when it comes too many church education programs. As someone who has gone through higher education I intrinsically knew that there was a difference but didn't necessarily have the words or research to back it up, this work helps to fill that gap. Most notably the authors really lean into two key features of adult education, namely that adults want to leverage their past life experience in their current learning environment and that adults need to have a concept of the why behind the educational program that they're being asked to be a part of. These are huge and ought to help inform how we develop curriculum and programs for our adult learners.
The second strong suit of the work is that the authors are aware that this is an introductory work and treat it as such. Rather than diving too deeply into the various intricacies of adult learning they provide a healthy overview of most topics. Where the topic necessitates they do dive in deeply but never to the detriment of the work. The one exception to this might be the chapters or sections that are solely dedicated to the history of the discipline, but as this is an introductory work, that makes sense and is helpful for context.
The one weak point of the work in my estimation is that it's a little dated already, but that's to be expected. This particularly shows up in the chapter on Computer Based Instruction (CBI). I think in the forthcoming edition this chapter could be expanded and perhaps even given its own section. Especially in a post-COVID-19 world we, as educators, need to be thinking through how we can reach people best and I have a feeling that it is going to be increasingly through digital means.
I would say that all-in-all it's an excellent introductory work and will be something that I keep as a reference text.