The Advantages Of A Humanistic Approach In Adult Education

2274 words - 9 pages

Introduction
Behaviourism is the analysis of observable behaviour (Driscoll, 2005, p. 29). There is no doubt about the influence that behaviourism has had on education. It has been used in many situations that call for behaviour modification. These modification methods are taught to adults who will use them to change their own behaviour when they wish to lose weight, quit smoking, or alter another aspect of how they behave.
Behaviourism as a learning approach has many limitations. Proponents of this method would agree that the only evidence we have or require of a learner gaining knowledge is from observing their behaviour. To them, a learner has learned something if he or she can do the task after instruction that they could not do before (Driscoll, 2005, p. 58). Learning is seen as an end product that takes place as a result of reinforcement or operant conditioning (Hiemstra & Brockett, 1994).
What would behaviourists think if they were to discover that behaviourism and the humanistic approach have several elements in common? Would they believe that it is possible to humanize a behavioural learning system to “make it responsive to the needs of the individual student” (Hiemstra & Brockett, 1994), despite the many differences between the two approaches?
We believe the answer to the above questions is yes. In order to bridge the gap that exists between proponents of the seemingly incompatible behaviouristic and humanistic paradigms, this paper will provide a framework for understanding the similarities and the differences between the two. It will offer direction to incorporate the humanistic approach to an adult learning situation, focusing on the similarities. Behaviourists will see that humanism offers learners the capacity for self-direction, limitless possibilities for learning (Hiemstra & Brockett, 1994), and could have significant positive effects on society in the future. It will be apparent to them that their behaviourist belief has lost some of its steam because of an increased recognition about how adults develop or age, and therefore, learn. The idea that adults can be motivated to learn strictly through operant conditioning, reinforcements or punishments as Skinner’s rats did in his experiments, is somewhat outdated, and has been replaced with more complex descriptions and theories of how adult learning takes place.
From Behaviourism to Humanism
Both the behaviouristic and the humanistic approaches believe that learning should focus on practical problem solving. Humanism takes this idea one step further and requires that an individual must take responsibility for their learning, and that this can be applied to the instructional process. To a humanist, the process of learning, and learning how to learn, becomes more important than the outcome. Humanists would say that the assumption of responsibility for learning in and of itself is a learning experience. Behaviourists may reject the assumptions of self or...

Find Another Essay On The Advantages of a Humanistic Approach in Adult Education

Advantages of Online Education Essay

1085 words - 5 pages The 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning states that approximately 5.6 million students took at least one web-based class during the fall 2009 semester (Orgill and Hervey). The number of students enrolling in online classes continues to grow each year and is predicted to reach 14 million by 2014. Because of technological innovations in recent years, online education is easily accessible to students and offers a wide variety of programs. Online

Learning Technologies in Adult Education Essay

1946 words - 8 pages Learning Technologies in Adult Education Any tool “designed to extend a learner’s capacity for effective action and that requires skill and certain strategies to use efficiently” is a learning technology (Burge 2001, p. 146). A well-structured face-to-face group discussion, a pencil, and print materials fit this definition as do newer tools such as web-based conferencing (ibid.). One of the greatest myths surrounding learning technologies

Technology in Adult Education Curriculum

764 words - 4 pages year 2018.16 Consequently, continuing education and post-secondary education must rise to meet this need. Furthermore, adult learners in the 21st century are changing. They want it all. “Adults are beginning to demand that their learning take place at a time, place, and pace convenient to them.”17 There are multiple ways to accommodate adult learners; the 21st century educator must strive to engage students through multiple methods of delivery

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Having National Education in Hong Kong

946 words - 4 pages ]. However, a book named “China Model National Conditions Teaching Manual” [2], published by the National Education Services Centre with government funding has drawn attentions from local Chinese. Two forces raised and argued against the topic of abandoning MNE in school curriculum. Eventually, the government failed to carry out the MNE and has postponed the plan. This essay will provide the advantages and disadvantages of having national

The Advantages And Disadvantages of Internet Among Students In Higher Education

787 words - 3 pages Internet plays an important role among students in higher education, especially in the universities. The use of Internet has its own advantages and disadvantages among them. This essay will further discuss the bad and good influence towards them. Obviously, people in different parts of the world use the same way to access the information by using Internet. Sometimes, they do not know about the advantages and disadvantages of Internet as maybe

A Unique Approach: Education in Public and Charter Schools

968 words - 4 pages A Unique Approach: Education in Public and Charter Schools School choice: two words that together spell out a multitude of educational options for students today. Among them are charter schools and public schools; public schools standing the test of time and charter schools being at the forefront of a revolution in educational change. Surprisingly, these two educational institutions have more in common than one might think, but maintain their

The Value of the Afrocentric Approach to Education

911 words - 4 pages –Wilborn,et al 1999] Conclusion The Afro centric approach to education emerged as a reactive stance to address racial inequalities identified by black parents and teachers as a major factor in the under achievement and disaffection of black pupils. A further refinement of the integrationist model emerged as cultural pluralism - an essential part of a pluralistic model of society. The key feature of pluralism is that groups are not ranked

Liberal Humanistic Critique of A Separate Peace

1132 words - 5 pages a look at the darker side of adolescence, showing jealousy’s disastrous effects. Gene’s envious thoughts and jealous nature, create an internal enemy, that he must fight. A liberal humanistic critique reveals that Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, has a self contained meaning, expresses the enhancement of life, and reveals that human nature does not change. Knowle’s novel, A Separate Peace, has a self contained meaning and theme, not

Adult Basic Education and Employment in Saskatchewan

1465 words - 6 pages . They also need to be aware of the skills needed in the work place, and recognize that these will probably change. Students therefore need to become life-long learners and need to learn how to manage their careers. This calls for a new approach to career education in schools. ( SchoolPlus and the Effective Practices Framework) Preparing students for the workplace is an important concern in adult education as adult students often have a more

Inside and Out: A Compare/Contrast Essay about the advantages and disadvantages of "hanging out" at home vs. "going out" to have a good time as a young adult

722 words - 3 pages Inside and Out:A Compare/Contrast Essay about the advantages and disadvantages of"hanging out" at home vs. "going out" to have a good time as a young adult.We all like to have a good time. Whether it is with our friends, significant others, or our families, we all need to relax. Being a young adult myself I have learned to make wiser decisions about my "party time" based on prior experiences. After having gone to the clubs, the bars, the pool

The Advantages of Taking a Gap Year

1699 words - 7 pages more positives in The Gap Year then I had thought. I thought that there were more negatives than positives. One thing that I found shocking was that the things I believed to be bad about The Gap Year ended up being the exact opposite. Time can be a student's best friend, for more than one reason. During this time one could get a job for funding their gap year and college, get in a clear and positive state of mind, explore the world and do things

Similar Essays

Discuss The Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Scientific Approach To The Study Of Society

1625 words - 7 pages absence. Thus if heat, an external stimulus, is applied to matter, that matter will react but positivist approach to human behaviour applies a similar approach that people react to external stimuli and their behaviour can be explained in terms of this reaction for example they enter into marriage and produce children in response to the demands of society; society requires such behaviour for its survival and its members simply respond to this

The Advantages Of Using Web 2.0 Tools In Education

1797 words - 7 pages available to them. This study will go in-depth to discover how Web 2.0 tools can be used for education, even in the early childhood years. What is Web 2.0? In order to begin discussing the use of Web 2.0 tools in education one must first learn what Web 2.0 is and why it can be very beneficial to education. According to Michael Simkins and Randy Schultz (2010), Web 2.0 refers to a variety of easy-to-use online resources that make everyday work and

Apathy In Adult Education Essay

1912 words - 8 pages One of the largest, most significant problems in adult education and learning is apathy. Apathy can be defined as a lack of interest in activities or interaction, which I believe is greatly seen throughout a school day. Students from all age groups suffer from a lack of interest in the material that they are being taught. However, this problem seems to be considerably more prevalent among adult learners. Researchers have pointed out many causes

Advantages Of Adult Stem Cell Therapy

1593 words - 6 pages The advancement of biomedical research has improved stem cell therapies immensely. There is a lot of unnecessary debate about the advantages and disadvantages of adult stem cell therapy versus embryonic stem cell therapy, which could be avoided if people were more knowledgeable of both therapies. Adult stem cell therapy is far superior to embryonic stem cell therapy because it avoids ethical concerns, the patients can use their own cells, and