Learning in the Life Cycle
As interest in instruction targeted for adults continues to rise, so has supporting empirical research and theory grown that provides the basis for program development. Research has shown that healthy adults can continue to learn through advanced old age, and it has helped to identify those conditions that maximize learning for adults of all ages. This entry discusses some of the characteristics of adult learners and the tasks and conditions under which they are at their best; it considers both early and more recent literature in an attempt to convey findings that are of greatest and relevance to program planners, instructors, and administrators concerned with the educational activities of the adult. In her review of the literature, Willis (1985) defines the characteristics of the learner as including the ability to maintain attention, one's metacognitive abilities and skills, and other factors, such as individual learning styles and the needs and motivation ...