Chen , L.-K., Kim, Y. S., Moon, P., & Merriam , S. B. (2008). A Review and Critique of the Portrayal of Older Adult Learners in Adult Education Journals, 1980-2006. Adult Education Quarterly, 3-21.
The journal looks to critique how adult learners have been portrayed in education journals in the years 1980-2006. The main goal of the journal is to discover if the portrayal has been accurate and instead of using predisposed ideas of adult learners it seeks to actually study the learning habits of adults. The journal finds that for the most part adult learners are seen as a homogeneous group and that physical and mental impairments are not seen as a major factor in the older adult learning population. The journal states that their research of the portrayal of adult learners shows that the articles and journals have found that adult learners are motivated learners. During the early 80’s the amount of studies about adult learners was very limited but as more adults re-enter the workforce and require additional education, more articles have become available.
I am very interested in the changing perceptions of adult learners because I work with adults exclusively. I am looking to expand my understanding of how they learn and how they are perceived so that I can expand not only my training abilities, but my curriculum development abilities. Although this article looks at the evolving perception of adults in the past, I feel that this is relevant to my current status as a technical trainer. I do think that like children, adults are treated as a homogeneous group and that has not changed or evolved enough. Even though that perception is incorrect in both adults and children, as neither group will all have the same learning style.