Reaction Paper: Adult Learning Experience in Contemporary Western Culture

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Adult Learning Experience

In contemporary Western culture, may adults incorrectly assume that school and learning is a process reserved for children. May adults believe themselves incapable of relearning, hence the popular cliche, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." This self-defeating belief, while less common than a few decades previous is still an attempt for many adults, particularly those who are disadvantaged, to separate themselves from the educational system at large. In truth, the human brain is constantly interpreting its surroundings, and as long as it is exposed to new situations and stimuli, new neurological pathways are created. Certainly, it is true that it may be easier to assimilate certain types of knowledge as a child, but it is a combination of desire and exposure that allows adults to experience learning throughout their life. In fact, an individual who considers themselves to be a perpetual student is likely to feel happier, more content, and more engaged and excited about the world than someone who thinks they are either "too old," or "have too many barriers" to continue the learning process. While education can (and does) occur outside of an established classroom or school system, one of the most effective ways to encourage adults to embrace learning and education is through adult education programs and classes.

Peter Vaill notes that learning as part of our make-up, our very core, is a key survival skill in the contemporary world. Working in a law enforcement career in a police department, this is evident daily. Combining experience with knowledge, research, and rather than looking for only the right answer, looking for the right questions and approaches, a police officer finds themselves far more able to perform their duties and work in public safety.

In addition, adult education is important and significant for people of all ages, and from all backgrounds. It is a way to continue to improve individually, to uncover new talents and opportunities, and to find a way to enjoy a potential new career or avenue of self-actualization. In this sense, learning is experiential -- and the lifelong qualities engender going beyond subject matter so that we can combine life experience, vocation, avocation, and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Reaction Paper:

APA Format

Adult Learning Experience in Contemporary Western Culture.  (2011, February 11).  Retrieved July 22, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Adult Learning Experience in Contemporary Western Culture."  11 February 2011.  Web.  22 July 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Adult Learning Experience in Contemporary Western Culture."  February 11, 2011.  Accessed July 22, 2019.