Similarities and Differences between Adult and Child Learners as Participants in the Natural Learning Process: Scientific Approach
This paper compares Brian Cambourne’s Conditions of Learning , APA’s Learner-Centered
Psychological Principles , and Malcolm Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory . These theories
embrace the natural learning process and not the traditional view of learning. The traditional view
suggests that the teacher has the knowledge, the learner is dependent on the teacher to disseminate
the knowledge and the learner has nothing to contribute. In the natural learning process, knowledge is
distributed in a circular and reciprocal way through a collaborative sharing of experiences, centered
on real life situations, and learners are responsible for their own learning. In the 21st century
knowledge is constantly changing and expanding exponentially. The natural learning process
facilitates the life-long learning that is needed to remain a valuable contributor in society where
learning has become a collaborative experience.
Dr. Darlene McDonough, Associate Professor
School of Education, St. Bonaventure University, New York, USA.
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