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Key Principles of Adult Learning

University: University of Wales

  • Unit No: 5
  • Level: Post Graduate/University
  • Pages: 14 / Words 3397
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: EDUC3026
  • Downloads: 303
Question :

 This assessment will cover the following questions:

  • Generate an in-depth understanding of the principles of adult learning and the theories which underpin teaching and learning.
  • Provide a detailed evaluation of your own and others’ learning styles and how this influences teaching and learning.
  • Generate the awareness of one’s own values and beliefs as an educationalist through reflection on own experiences.
Answer :


Education that is related to the practice of being a medical professional either through initial training to be a physician or to receive additional training thereafter is termed medical education. It is an active area in the field of educational research and several methodologies are available to provide such kind of education (Thomas et.al., 2016). It helps the clinical practitioner to discover and learn various ways to improve their clinical practices and to enhance the quality of care being provided to patients. It is very crucial for the development of a healthcare professional. Medical education allows caring professional to gain professional growth and help them to advance their stays of career. In this study, various key aspects of the learning journey of a learner will be discussed. Furthermore, learning styles and various principles of adult learning will be covered. Motivation for the learning of an individual will be addressed in this study.


Medical education can be referred to as education being provided to healthcare professionals in order to enhance their knowledge and clinical skills. Learning of a nurse, doctor or any clinical specialist continues by the means of continuous medical education. As a learner, it is very important for me to gain knowledge and skills which would help me to deliver high-quality care to service seekers and to learn effective medical team management skills.

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Educational theory

In order to gain medical knowledge in an effective way it is necessary to implement educational theories. It can be define as theories that inform the application, purpose and interpretation of education and learning. It can also refer to as learning theory. Education is basically about transfecting knowledge. There are number of theories which has been developed to explain process of learning. Some of the educational theories that could be utilize in my overall learning journey is discussed as follows:


This theory is based on the fact that behaviour of an individual is acquired from interaction with environmental stimuli and such interactions leads to occurrence of learning and development of new associations (Dent, Harden and Hunt, 2017). It states that knowledge is independent. It has been analysed that responses to external environment is majorly responsible to shape actions of individuals. Behaviour can be studied in a observable and systematic way irrespective of mental status. According to this theory, behaviour could be demonstrated by external factors as well as behaviour conditioning which could be use as a universal learning process. As per the behaviourist theory only observable behaviour of individuals must be consider Individuals can be trained to act in a right way regardless of his/her background. With the help of this theory, I would learn about how to behave with my patients in right manner.


As compared to behaviourist theory, this specific theory states that individuals first process information they are receiving rather than just responding to it. It majorly focus on the process which is involved in learning irrespective of observing behaviour (Lockyer and et.al., 2017). It focus on internal process and connections which occurs during learning. It sates that the black box of the mind must be understood and open. In this theory the learner is consider as a information processor. Some of the important principles of this theory are organisation, meaningful learning and elaboration. This theory would help me to enhance my critical thinking process and to learn clinical skills in more effective way.


It is a learning theory which explains about how individuals must attain knowledge and learn. It has a direct implementation on education. According to this theory, individuals build their knowledge and skills from their previous experiences. It is not a particular pedology. It has a major impact on learning process and teaching methods of education. Learner basically adapts their understanding and knowledge through resolving their misconceptions. It is necessary for learners to have some prior based knowledge for making constructive approaches effective. With the help of this theory I would be able to gain knowledge and learn about medical skills in more effective manner with the help of my prior knowledge and experiences.


According to this learning theory, individual process information on the basis of forming connections. It has been developed through technology an digital age. This theory states that individuals will not stop learning even after their formal education and will continue to acquire knowledge form different sources such as clinical skills. Networking, experience and will try to access information from new tools and equipments in technology (Raiman and et.al., 2017). It put emphasis on how technology and internet has developed new opportunities for individuals to learn and share their information among themselves and on internet. Such technologies consist of web browsers, wikis, emails and various social networking sites which allows individuals to share and learn knowledge with other persons. This theory will help me to gain knowledge about clinical skills by means of technology. I could explore information about all necessary aspects of medical knowledge on internet and thus will be able to gain effective knowledge and skills.


It is a pedagogical approach which states that learning is seen as a personal act in order to fulfil individual's potential. Affect and emotions has a vital role in this theory. It put emphasis on dignity, potential and freedom. According to the perspective of humanism, individuals act with values and intentionality (Frank and et.al.2017). It believes that it is essential to understand individual as a whole majorly when he/she develops and grows over a lifespan. Main objective of his theory is development of autonomous and self-actualized people. As per the theory, learning is student centred and personalized and educator acts as a facilitator. With the help of this learning theory I could be able to realize my potential to gain important knowledge about medical skills and about management of medical aspects.


This theory was proposed by Malcom Shepard Knowles in the year 1968 (ANDRAGOGY – ADULT LEARNING THEORY (KNOWLES).2020). It refers to a theory of adult learning which focus on the ways that adults learn differently from children. For instance, adults tends to be more self directed ready to learn and motivated. Educators can utilize concepts of Andragogy for increasing the effectiveness of their learning sessions. There re five certain assumptions of this theory that educators must make about learners. Such assumptions are discussed here.

  • Self concept: As adults are at more developmental age, they tends to have more secure self concepts as compare to children.
  • Past-learning experience: Adults are gone through a large number of experiences through which they learn as compared to children who are still gaining new experiences.
  • Readiness to Learn: There are many adults who have come to a point where they realize value of education and focused about learning (Berman and et.al., 2016).
  • Practical reasons to learn:Adults mostly seek to practice and problem based approaches to learning. Many adults continue their education by particular practical reasons.
  • Driven by internal motivation: Different children are driven by the means of external motivation such as punishments if they perform bad and rewards if they achieve something.

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Motivation for the learning

The major objective of motivation is to trigger and facilitates activity of learning. Thus, process of learning needs to be motivated and assisted towards a desirable result. Motivation helped me to engaged in process of learning. In my personal journey of learning medical education, I have been motivated by my educators and my family. I have received a initial training my organisation on how to treat patients and how to analyse or diagnose their diseases and problems. They helped me to gain effective knowledge about clinical skills and medical terms. They encouraged me to learn various aspects of medical education and helped me to refine my skills so that I could deliver high quality of care to my patients. They provided me necessary resources and taught me with current and latest development in their speciality. Educators help me to practice my skills on a practical basis so that I could learn to address real life challenges face by a healthcare professional on a daily basis. My role model was healthcare experts which motivated me to enhance my skills in an effective manner and to deliver a better quality of care. In my training session, my educators motivated me to gain professional knowledge and to gain some skills which will be useful for me in my professional life. Knowledge provided by my educators will help me to achieve license in medical fled and to gain medical certificates s per my abilities to treat patients in an effective manner. With the help of this training session I would be able to learn effective team management skills in context to medical knowledge. Medical educators in my training programme help me to earn certain memberships in specific organisations. Healthcare professionals provide me essential tools for learning which benefited me to learn in a better way and on practical base. They evaluate me performance at regular intervals and thus, give me specific feedbacks about my performance. Similarly, my family and friends supported me and encourage me in whole learning journey of mine. They help to me motivate by giving me some knowledge regarding how to tackle with stress and pressure which is occurring during training program. They provide me social-emotional support as well as session based opportunities and resources at home environment.

My personal medical educator, take the responsibility of designing, developing, organising, implementing and managing activities of training session which has a vast impact on my learning process. It helped me to learn in particular period of time and in an effective manner. They give me a long term commitment for developing my skills at planned interval of time. They motivated me by helping me to solve my problems by my own and help me wherever I was not able to resolve problems. As an educator they develop my personal development plan so that they can evaluate my performance and give me my specific feedback regarding where I am going wrong and off track. An effective learning environment also help me to learn about medical knowledge and to gain information about clinical skills and practices.

Learning styles

Learning style can be refer to as a way in which an individual process, absorbs, grasp and retains information. Learning style of an individual depends on environmental, emotional and cognitive factors and personal experience of an individual (Holmboe and et.al., 2017). It is important for an educator to evaluate and analyse learning styles of learners in order to apply best possible practice in their routine activities, assessments and curriculum. There are seven different learning styles available regarding how an individual can learn in an efficient way. Learning styles are discussed as follows:

  • Visual: In this style of learning, individuals mostly prefer learn through images, pictures and spatial understanding. It has a positive impact on teaching and learning styles as learners tends to learn things by visualizing them which is a active learning process. Similarly, it will enhance the teaching style of educators as they will be able to deliver knowledge in more effective way.
  • Aural: In this particular styles, individuals prefer learning through sound or music. It would be effective way of learning as individuals gets to hear directions and speak about their opinions.
  • Verbal: Individuals prefer utilization of words in both writing and speech. In this learning style learner will be
  • Physical: Individuals who have this learning style tends to use hands, body and show some gestures.
  • Logical: Individuals prefer using logics, systems and reasoning (Dent and et.al., 2017).
  • Social: Individuals prefer to learn with other people or with groups.
  • Solitary: Individuals do self study and work alone.

Such learning styles are preferred by different individuals and at different situations. Different number of factors highly influence learning style of a learner. At the time of 19th century, trainer has realised that training of a small section of individuals is not enough to solve problems. There was a need to improve facilities and tools of training. I think the most appropriate learning style for me is logical learning style as in medical education I am going to learn about various clinical skills which well be helpful for me to deliver better quality of care to patients. So, being logical and reasoning will be effective for me to learn in a better way.

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Key principles of adult learning

The adult education have seen to impose various necessitates on career associated with medical background (Engl and erand et.al., 2017). Self education and learning process are very essential in preparing an individual for educating themselves more. It has been clearly observed that adult education is greatly dependent on the capability to learn more and more independently. There are various principles which are designed to make the adult learning process more efficient, such principles are given below.

Self-directing: The adults are always considered as self directing and autonomous, who can function and can govern themselves strongly and effectively according to their own concepts, laws and values. Once an individual gets a chance to understand the purpose and the objective of learning program associated with medical education, the self learning process starts. They are required to know why, how as well as what they are needed to learn. If such person does not understood the concept of study then they will be unwilling to support such learning intervention.

Relevance: The content of medical educational program must be meaningful enough to the adult learners as well as to their business. The content should have the ability to make people understand how it will be important further in their life and what more benefits they can get while engaging in such program. The learning needs has to be interpreted by the learner properly, if they fail to personally apply such conditions then it largely demotivate the learner to get engage in such education.

Principles like experience, high involvement, practice and personal development also influences the learning concept of adult and assist them in learning the all the skills required in the medical education (Cruess and et.al., 2018).

The ability of effective feedback

Feedback can be refer to as a process of improvement by giving reactions to individual performance of a task or activity. There are clearly defined learning outcomes in this case. Teaching skills of medical educators varies among themselves. This is due to difference in their knowledge and experiences and due to different organisational environment (McBride and Drak, 2018). They have adapt some new technologies and skills for teaching and provide effective knowledge of clinical practices. In my own training session I have received knowledge which is based on practicals. Trainers of the training sessions used number of tools and resources in order to teach me and to provide me effective medical education. As per the feedback, teaching style of trainers are quite effective and they deliver useful information which would be beneficial for me for a long term courses. However, the feedback which I have received after my evaluation and monitor process was quite helpful. I have received a feedback to work on my communication skills and to engage in learning process more actively. Thus, this feedback would be helpful for me to perform better and to deliver a high quality of care to patients. Development of communication skills would be effective for me to create a positive relationship with my future service seekers and I would be able to analyse the problem of a service seeker in a better way by asking the patients regarding how they are feelings and can gain essential knowledge from them. Active engagement in learning process will helpful for me to receive knowledge and skills in more effective way and to better understand about medical education. It would be beneficial for me to get indulge in overall training program and to gain effective knowledge about clinical practices and skills.


Educationist in medical education is one who provides essential knowledge and skills to learners regarding how to improve their clinical practices and how to mange in a team. I as an educationist have my personal beliefs and values regarding how to deliver information to learners whoa re seeking to gain information in medical training program or in a medical school. Beliefs and values of an educationist are usually defined as personal build that could provide judgements, understandings and evaluation of practice (Sterling and et.al., 2017). My personal values and beliefs about providing knowledge is that all learners has their own individual learning styles. I think evidence based learning and active teaching process would be beneficial for me to deliver knowledge and information about clinical skills in a better way. Student learn at different rates and in different ways. I have experienced that it is important to provide emotional, social and cultural and educational needs to learners so that they could respond in a more effective way in overall training session. It is my own belief that creating and developing a positive and healthy relationship between educator and a learner is very important. As an educator it is necessary for me to show passion and enthusiasm to teach learners in order to bring interest of learners (Boysen, Daste and Northern, 2016). It is my personal belief that I should also engage in learning process with students in order to refine my skills and to improve them.


From the above report it can be concluded that, medical education is a practice through which one can be a medical professional either through initial preparation or to receive additional training for becoming a successful physician or skilled doctor. Educational theory utilises behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism, connectivity, humanism and andragogy in the journey of learning which help in making learning interpretation and logical conclusions. Some of the learning styles are visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary which help in retaining, grasping and processing the valuable information. Motivation helped the individual in gaining knowledge with respect to the learning process about medical terms and clinical skills. The teaching skills of medical professional differ due to fluctuation in their experiences and knowledge. Some learning principle of adult learning are self directing, practice, relevance, experience and personal development which helps an individual in understanding the concepts as well as needs of education.

Related Sample: Role Of Building Comprehension & Quality Of Learning

Management Dissertations


  • Thomas, P.A. and et.al., 2016. Curriculum development for medical education: a six-step approach. JHU Press.
  • Dent, J., Harden, R.M. and Hunt, D., 2017. A practical guide for medical teachers. Elsevier health sciences.
  • Lockyer, J., and et.al., 2017. Core principles of assessment in competency-based medical education. Medical teacher. 39(6). pp.609-616.
  • Raiman, L., and et.al., 2017. WhatsApp messenger as a tool to supplement medical education for medical students on clinical attachment. BMC medical education. 17(1). p.7.
  • Frank, J.R., and et.al., 2017. Implementing competency-based medical education: Moving forward. Medical Teacher. 39(6). pp.568-573.
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