My topic is adult development. Do these look like adults you? Well, they are. They are university freshmen and by all accounts, they have entered the early stages of adult development. They are my learners.So … my research questions for this project were:What does developmental literature tell me about my learners, and How can I use that information in my classroom?
To answer these questions, first created profile I then researched adult developmental theory placed my learners in each proposed developmental model. Next, I compared my learners to the ideas of the theorists.Reached conclusions, andIdentified seven take-away ideas for use in my classroom
Demographics18 – 20 years oldBalanced male/female mix98% Han Chinese75% rural; 25% small metropolitan 95% from low/moderate income familiesStudied English for six to ten yearsNo certified disabilities
Psychographics1st time experiencing real independence1st time making choices with real consequencesBeginning to experience self-directed learning Boy/girl relationships prime topic of interestAll other relationships next topic of interestConfused about separation from homeConfused about growing conflict with parentsComplain of loneliness and homesicknessFeel guilty about changing attitudes and feelingsPositive attitude about learningHighly motivated
What is Adult Development Theory?Adult development is the study of More-or-less universalMore-or-less age-specific Stages of changes That occur in human beings Over the course of the life span This is the stage theory of development Stages are:Periods of stability That alternate In predictable wayWith periods of instability and transition At some stages (e.g., infancy) biology influences developmentAt others, social, cultural or historic influences more powerful Still, two important themes recur Both the self and the "dream" Constantly reassessed In light of the reality of experienceSchools of Thought Social Development Identified developmental tasks and teachable moments. HavighurstAge related developmentPeople of similar ages tend to experience the same developmental tasks GouldLevinsonNon-age related developmentPeople encounter the same developmental milestones in lifeBut not necessarily tied to chronological age Erikson (ego development)Kohlberg (moral development)