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Adult development and Learning: A Qualitative Approach Paper

Adult development and Learning: A Qualitative Approach

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Adult Development Theory

Introduction

Not many adults focus on their progress in development, and the situation changes when an event prompts them to do so. This is also reflected in literature, which seems to focus more on child development than adult development. Many researchers tend to ignore the process of adult development. Many people tend to assume that increase in age leads to increase in experience. This is despite the fact that many adults fail to learn from their experiences and the experience of others. Indeed, understanding adult development is one of the most critical and important aspects of human life (Clark & Caffarella, 2011). All key programs targeting adults ought to have a clear understanding of adult development. This involves programs aimed at helping people in personal development, dealing with addiction, dealing with psychological problems among other things. Having a clear understanding of adult development will help social workers, who are trying to help parents develop well and take care of their children. This helps the social worker to understand why some parents continue to struggle with parental responsibilities, and it will help them to find ways of helping such parents.

Literature Review

Adults develop differently as they interact with different social and formal environments. The cognitive or psychological approach of adult development is concerned with the processes of a person’s internal development, as he or she undergoes different environments. People learn as they interact with the environment. They learn from their mistakes, and from their experiences. The knowledge that people have regarding a certain issue will help them in making future decisions. Experiences are therefore crucial in making present decisions. The engagement of metacognition in adults becomes more important, as people try to recollect what they have learnt over the years. However, this is hindered and limited by the fact that adults process new information they receive, thereby increasing the chances they had of failing to learn from their past. They are willing to accept new information, if that information seems to provide a basis for them to justify their actions. They reflect on the things they have experienced, the information they have received, and the application and implementation of any changes leading to development (Clark & Caffarella, 2011)

Understanding metacognition in adult development is significant because it enables one to have a clearer understanding of the learning and reasoning process. It enables researchers to understand or have a clear perception of how people commit things to memory. This is crucial in understanding cognitive development of adults. People develop more when they engage in active participation in their environments (Kuhn, 2000). Adults undergo continuous development, as they interact with their environments. Factors such as anticipated and unanticipated changes have an effect on how people develop. A person’s coping skills, interactions and socialization, and the changes that he or she experience contribute to the course that he or she will take in life. Understanding metacognition engagement will help in understanding some aspects of adult development, based on the psychological and cognitive approaches.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this study is to determine the factors that determine adult development, in the context of childcare. It focuses on a negligent adult who fails to take care of her young child. Through the case, one will be able to analyze why the adult did not experience any changes in her development, despite the fact that she is a mature adult, and despite the fact that she has experienced seemingly threatening situation. The adult faced the risk of losing her daughter to the social workers because of her negligent. She knows what is expected of her as a parent with a young child. However, this knowledge did not change the fact that she left her daughter unattended. Some of the research questions include, which are some of the ways that have contributed to the slow growth of adult development? Which methods can adults use to improve their development? How does metacognition affect adult development? What are some of the metacognition strategies that are most effective in adult development? Are there any metacognition strategies used in the case study hindered or limited development in any way? What can be done to improve on these limitations?

Methods

The study of adult development requires a person to conduct an intensive study on the subject. This will involve a study on the research done on adult development. This research will focus on the different theories regarding human development. The research is based on a case study involving a negligent parent. Content from the analysis of different texts and research designs focusing on adult development, theories of adult development, and different metacognition strategies pertaining to development will explain the development or lack of development of the adult in failing to improve on her parental duties and responsibilities. The research will involve interviewing adult learners, and finding out the methods they find most effective when learning. This will involve the use of questionnaires. The researchers will develop questionnaires, with the relevant questions relating to the study. It will involve the researchers knowing the kind of questions to include in the design, to get the answers that they need.

Ethical Considerations

Confidentiality is an important issue to consider in every research, especially where the research involves collecting the participants personal information. Participants can be wary and unresponsive if they perceive that the researchers will not receive the personal information they receive with confidentiality. The researchers need to be aware of the questions they pose to the participants. The way that researchers phrase the survey questions in the questionnaires can determine the kind of responses they get from the participants. Some participants may see some questions as unethical, especially questions regarding the participants’ ability to learn. Researchers might find the need to ask participants questions regarding the challenges and difficulties they face when learning and the participants might find these questions unethical if the researchers do not phrase them well. Researchers need to have the consent of all the participants involved in the research, before proceeding to conduct the research. They need to provide all the information that participants require before they get the participants’ consent. Some researchers face problems when they fail to provide all the information, for fear that they will not get the participants they need in the research.

Results

Many researchers have made assumptions concerning the adult learner. They presume that adults are at a mature stage where they know the things to learn and how to learn them. Therefore, they fail to understand the difficulties and challenges facing adult learners. They make assumptions such as self-motivation on the part of the adult learners, and they fail to realize the necessary opportunities needed to find ways of motivating the learners. They also assume that adults engage in continuous learning. Learning is not an obvious thing to all adults, and some adults, do not even see the need of learning anything new. By making this assumption, the researchers fail to identify ways of finding ways of encouraging adults to learn. People make assumptions concerning a person’s age and experience. A person might be old, but he or she might not have the necessary exposure required for learning to develop (Trotter, 2006).

References

Clark, C. M., & Caffarella, S. R. (2011). An update on adult development theory: New ways of thinking about the life course: New directions for adult and continuing education. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons

Kuhn, D. (2000). Metacognitive development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9 (5), 178-181

Trotter, D. Y. (2006). Adult learning theories: Impacting professional development programs. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 72 (2), 8-13

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