Tag: Adult Learning

This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.


This is a closed post.  This is all you get.  No further reasoning or rationale, no input or comments.        #adult_learning, #closed, #edtech, #learning, #MOOC, #ocTEL, #OER, #open, #tel

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This is an open post.  I’m including my train of thought.  If the Blogger system lets me, I will allow unmoderated posts in response to this post.  If it doesn’t, I’ll simply allow them all.  I’m going to write another post after th…

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The Curriculum of Adult Life

Adult life is a massive social space, filled with experiential learning.  Bohn equates adults’ experiences within the cognitive domain.  Many cognitive resources, including “locus of control, self-efficacy, problem solving, decision-making, judgment, analysis (sizing up a situation, sizing up people), creativity, cause and effect, trial-and-error are the essence of experience.” (Bohn, p. 26)  The lessons of adult life are learned formally and informally.  Formal lessons include our formal education; P-12, undergraduate, and graduate schools.  Also part of formal lessons are job training, trade apprenticeships, workforce development, religious, and community learning.  Informal lessons seem to be mostly learned individually by trial-and-error, by observation, and vicariously.

The hidden curriculum of adult life is also known as social mores.  These mores are called “rules-of thumb” by Bohn. (p. 26)  These are the unspoken rules that are “understood” by community, society, and culture.

Curriculum is defined by roles.  Each person performs multiple roles; parent, employee, partner, community member, etc.  This is also referred to as context.  Each role has its own content and own ways of socialization.  In my role as an IT professional the context of learning is very technical and sterile.  In my role as a parent, the context of learning is very much more informal, and trial-and-error.  My role as a graduate student is completely immersed in formal learning with a specific curriculum.

Content, context, community, and participation provide the environment for situated learning.  (Stein, 1998, p. 2; Stein, 2001, p. 422)  Situated learning (also called situated cognition by Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner) occurs when the learning situation and the learning process are inseparable. (2007, p. 178)  Lessons in the hidden curriculum appear to be situated learning; the process of trial-and-error is itself situated learning.  Lessons learned by error might be more memorable than lessons learned by successful trial, because the failure of error creates a more emotional response.


Bohn, James. 2002.  Toward an Analysis of Adult Experience.  Presentation From 2000 Annual Midwest Research to Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, and Community Education.  c.f. Glowacki-Dudka.

Glowacki-Dudka, M. (2000). Honoring Our Roots and Branches… Our History and Future. Proceedings of the Annual Midwest Research to Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, and Community Education (19th, Madison, Wisconsin, September 27-29, 2000).
Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 
Stein, D., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education. (1998). Situated learning in adult education. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Center on Education and Training for Employment, College of Education, the Ohio State University.  
Stein, D. S. (January 01, 2001). Situated Learning and Planned Training on the Job. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 3, 4, 415-424. 

#ocTEL #tel #edtech #adult_learning #learning 

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Digital Readiness Quizzes

Results of two readiness quizzes by Helen Beetham (@helenbeetham):The first is to asses my profile as a digital learner:The second is to assess my profile as a digital researcher:The results of my Digital Scepticism score are surprising to me.  Al…

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Cognitive Apprenticeship and Human Mirror Neuron Systems

While reading through articles for one class, the notion of Mirror Neurons and the Mirror Neuron System (MNS) in humans has stuck with me for several weeks.  Now, while working on a project examining Cognitive Apprenticeships (CA) in a different class, I had a potential aha moment; are CA, and less specifically, apprenticeships, effective and had such longevity as a teaching style because they play directly to how our brains are wired for learning through imitation?

 The MNS are neurons that increase their activity specifically during the act of imitation while seeing and hearing corresponding actions being performed by others. (Gallese, 2009;Keysers, 2009)  The MNS may also be responsible for empathy and emotional matching mechanisms (Gallese, 2009)

Cognitive apprenticeship aims to reproduce instructors’ cognitive problem solving abilities through observation and imitation. (Boling, et. al., 2012)  Duncan (1996) states that modelling, scaffolding, coaching, and correction are foundational to CA and to apprenticeships at large, and  “mirror the methods used by experts and apprentices for hundreds, if not thousands of years.” (Duncan, 1996) This behavior is also observed in very young children through mimicry and imitation of older siblings, peers, family members, and family pets.

“Cognitive apprenticeship comes from a tradition of apprenticeship learning that originated at a time when crafts and skills were learned in a more teacher-guided apprenticeship model, e.g., tailoring, carpentering, and farming. Apprenticeship is still being used in a variety of skill-based contexts, including medical internship and judicial clerkships. However, as education became more formalized in a classroom setting, knowledge was presented in more and more abstract formats.

In general, cognitive apprenticeship is based on teaching decision-making processes. Cognitive apprenticeship is especially useful for skills that are not as readily apparent as those in crafts and trades. In traditional apprenticeships, there are typically three component parts: modeling, scaffolding, and coaching. Cognitive apprenticeships have the additional components of articulation, reflection, and exploration.” (Chan, Miller, & Monroe, 2009)

I think this could be a very interesting topic to explore. 


Amory, A. (January 01, 2010). Education Technology and Hidden Ideological Contradictions. Educational Technology & Society, 13, 1, 69-79.
Boling, E., Hough, M. M., Krinsky, H. H., Saleem, H. H., & Stevens, M. M. (2012). Cutting the distance in distance education: Perspectives on what promotes positive, online learning experiences. Internet & Higher Education, 15(2), 118-126.
Buccino, G., Lui, F., Canessa, N., Patteri, I., Lagravinese, G., Benuzzi, F., Porro, C. A., … Rizzolatti, G. (January 01, 2004). Neural Circuits Involved in the Recognition of Actions Performed by Nonconspecifics: An fMRI Study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16, 1, 114-126.
Chan, P., Miller, R., & Monroe, E. (2009). Cognitive Apprenticeship as an Instructional Strategy for Solving Corporate Training Challenges. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 53(6), 35-41.
Duncan, S. (1996). Cognitive apprenticeship in classroom instruction: implications for industrial and technical teacher education. Journal Of Industrial Teacher Education, 3366-86
Gallese, V. in Pineda, J. A. (2009). Mirror neuron systems: The role of mirroring processes in social cognition. New York: Humana.
Keysers, C. (2009). Mirror neurons. Current Biology, 19(21), R971-R973. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.08.026

#ocTEL #tel #edtech #adult_learning #learning 

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Meta-neural social learning and technology

While completing coursework for spring semester and considering week 1 questions from the ocTEL MOOC (http://octel.alt.ac.uk/course-materials/tel-concepts-and-approaches/) I find myself considering the social aspects of MOOCs, how social development en…

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More on Designing and Teaching Online Courses with Adult Students in Mind | Faculty Focus

Tags: adult learner, learning strategies, Adult Learning, elearningby: Elizabeth E Charles

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