A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE: A SYNTHESIS OF IDEAS ABOUT ADULT INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT AND ITS CONNECTION TO ADULT EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Several authors have noted the close association between models of adult development and adult education. For example, Clark and Caffarella (1999) have stated that:
It is hard to imagine the field of adult education apart from the literature on adult development; many aspects of our thinking about adult learners and the learning process are shaped by our knowledge of how adults change and develop across the lifespan. (p. 1)
Certainly an important aspect of adult developmental models is the intellectual development of humans throughout their lifespan and in particular the intellectual development and functioning of adults. The purpose of the review of literature presented here is to provide a general overview and synthesis of some of the current work in the field relating adult intellectual development and adult education in the 21st century.
Adult Education and Adult Intellectual Development: The 21st Century Connection
With respect to education, the strongest trend that can be found in the literature is a focus of educators and developmental psychologists on determining techniques and strategies for enhancing the educational experiences of adult learners. In this regard, Merriam and Caffarella (1999) point out several ways in which the general adult development research and specifically adult intellectual development research can enhance adult education. First, the authors state, educational program designers and administrators can use the adult intellectual development research and theory in their planning of adult education program objectives, delivery systems, program content and support services.
Second, Merriam and Caffarella (1999) point out that adult educators can rely on the adult intellectual development research to design effective instructional techniques fo...