Activity Feed Discussions Blogs Bookmarks Files

Theories of Adult Development | Origin: ED208

This is a general discussion forum for the following learning topic:

Adult Learning Theories --> Theories of Adult Development

Post what you've learned about this topic and how you intend to apply it. Feel free to post questions and comments too.

I have gained more information concerning specific theories of adult development. I've been familiar with Erikson but I've gained more informaton concerning the perspective of  Levinson and Havighurst  in reguards to development.

Create a safe and secure educational environment is also the key to success with adult learning. Students will develop a greater sense of motivation. 

its good information to have going forward. to think at what stage of life each individual is at and try to apply your information pertaining to there specific siyuation.

Adult learners are naturally at a different stage in their life than a child or teenaged learner. They have a more developed sense of self and morality, but they also have a different focus. They are not required to be learning; they are learning for a purpose. As such, it is important to keep their goals in mind when creating a curriculum. There is a specific set of skills that they are looking to develop to help them achieve their goals and settle into whatever stage of their lives they are in, and it is the educator's responsiblity to help them get there.

I've learned that adult learners may enter the educational facility at different stages depending on where they are in life. Some may whant to increase knowlage to help promote there careers, and others may whant to change careers. Some may just whant to increase there income, and others to educate themselves for a hobby or passion for something.  


Learning is continuous and lookng at different individuals learning perspective.  It is great to put other experience in your toolshed to complement your learning and teaching style.

The learning of adullt students various at their age. Accoording to the module us as instructors can guide students based on the learning perspective of the life cycle of each student. 

For me , the scariest age level of an adult is 60-65 and above. Some people are afraid of " DEATH ". They worried too much about what the future will be, such as : Who will take care of me when I'm not able to care for myself? and so on and so forth.

I have seen these theories of adult development before.  I do enjoy the perspectives, but also I see a great need for them to be updated due to different societal expectations.  Marriage and family are not alway a priority, and there are other definitions of family to be explored.  I think that the most important thing to do with your students is ask questions to find out what their current motivation is based on thier personal life experiences.  The age ranges are completely different for many students when you consider that some may serve in the military, moving the retirement of the student up considerably, but delaying family and marriage (if they desire).

I am quite familiar with Erikson's work, but have not studied the work of Levinson or Havighurst as much.  As an instructor, it may help to understand what stages of life and human development our students are in, as well as what stage we are in, to better understand and accommodate to the pressing needs and issues of our students and improve the learning experience and their chance to succeed with their education.

The different stages presented in the 3 theories are simply to me different view of prececption of what as we grow our goals might be.  This achivements can be scored or completed via time set, age goal settings or life goals as we age.  In general are stages that in multiple ways can be use to identify accomplishments by the individual..


Havighurst theories - of the three shared with us, I least relate to his theories and find his stages to be too consertive in nature e.g. 'select a partner', start a family' - I also think his timeline is dated.  There are more options and what is expected is not as rigid within each age timeframe.


I enjoyed learning the 3 theories and how we as instructors can utilize the information given to us to guide adult learners to better themselves whether they are looking to advance in their careers or make a change in careers.

A very unique set of approaches to adult learning and human development. I'd argue that each has merit, and it's likely a combination of all the theories that describe human development. I'd be curious to see if there's research that has change some of these theories, specifically Havighurst's. There's quite a difference in some of the stages as society has evolved that I definitely see in my students. I'd be interested in surveying modern students and upcoming generations as to what they'd view as age in relation to completing developmental tasks and what they'd look like.

I have heard of differnt proposed stages of development. I alwasy took from them that no one is ever "done" developing, they are all at differing stages. Yet overall they all share a similar arc of achiveing autonomy and buoiding your own set of relationships and beliefs.


I find Daniel Levinson's theory to be very interesting because as we mature we look at things differently due to life experiences so decisions we make are well informed. I am also curious to see if there is recent research that has changed some of these theories.  

Theies of development include those of Erikson, Havighurst and Levinson and vary in focus. Whether looking at age or stage of life, lends itsellf to a premise of why adults behave in the way they do based on how they developed. 

The three different views of development are very good when looking into adult learning. 


It's interesting to view adult developmental stages as I, myself, get older and am forced to deal with changes in my own life. These theorists provide meaning and context, not only for my students, but for myself personally. 


Sign In to comment