Adult Learning Theory: Reflections on the role of mentoring as a key to success in advanced degree programs


Adult Learning Theory: Reflections on the role of mentoring as a key to success in advanced degree programs


Kent L. Willis, PhD

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.


American journal of educational research and reviews

Vital to completing advanced educational and training programs beyond the undergraduate degree level is realizing specific dispositions and traits. In this paper, the role of mentoring as a critical contributing factor to student success is examined through critical reflection as a form of qualitative inquiry. Traditionally utilized in professional settings to improve practice, critical reflection provided an emergent methodological approach for close examination of personal experiences with mentoring during the learning process in pursuit and subsequent completion of a professional degree (Fook, 2013). This in-depth examination of personal experience derived lessons learned from individuals that successfully navigated the rigor of advanced educational programs to expose mentoring’s role as the key to success.


Keywords: Adult learning theory; Self-direct learning; Self-directed learning; Andragogy; Critical reflection methodology

Free Full-text PDF


How to cite this article:
Kent L. Willis. Adult Learning Theory: Reflections on the role of mentoring as a key to success in advanced degree programs. American Journal of Educational Research and Reviews, 2021; 6:80. DOI: 10.28933/ajerr-2020-11-2505


References:
1. Bashan, B., & Holsblat, R. (2017). Reflective journals as a research tool: The case of student teachers’ development of teamwork. Cogent Education, 4(1), 1374234.
2. Chinnasamy, J. (2013). Mentoring and adult learning: Andragogy in action. International Journal of Management Research and Reviews, 3(5), 2835.
3. Cohen, N. H. (1995). The Principles of Adult Mentoring Scale. New directions for adult and continuing education, 66, 15-32.
4. Cooke, D. M. (2018). The influences of professional development, in educative mentoring, on mentors’ learning and mentoring practices (Doctoral dissertation, Auckland University of Technology).
5. Fook, J. (2011). Developing critical reflection as a research method. In Creative spaces for qualitative researching (pp. 55-64). SensePublishers.
6. Henry, G. W. (2011). Malcolm Shepherd Knowles: A history of his thought. Nova Science Publishers.
7. Henschke, J. A. (2011). Considerations regarding the future of andragogy. Adult Learning, 22(1), 34-37.
8. Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2014). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. Routledge.
9. McGrath, V. (2009). Reviewing the Evidence on How Adult Students Learn: An Examination of
10. Knowles’ Model of Andragogy. Adult Learner: The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education, 99, 110.
11. Mullen, C. A., Fish, V. L., & Hutinger, J. L. (2010). Mentoring doctoral students through scholastic engagement: Adult learning principles in action. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 34(2), 179-197.
12. Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice.
13. Tran, N. A. (2014). The role of mentoring in the success of women leaders of color in higher education. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 22(4), 302-315.