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Adulthood Learning Determining Factors Synthesis Essay

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2022


Learning in adulthood is a very stressful path to undertake because it implies additional responsibilities on the already existing domestic duties. Despite the challenges associated with this concept, many persons still take up this alternative with a view to uplifting their standards of living.

This paper will try to elucidate the various factors that determine the nature of adulthood learning. In this case, the arguments of the research paper hinges upon the elements associated with adulthood learning as expounded Merriam, Caffarella Baumgartner (8).

To begin with, the research paper shall examine the forces which determine adulthood learning. These forces include, but are not limited to, include technology, and globalization; learning atmosphere (including educational and non educational organization), as well as the characteristic of adulthood learning.

Factors determining adulthood learning

Globalization has allowed for the movement of people across national boundaries in pursuit of better living standards. Usually, this migration involves the movement of citizens from the developing countries to the developed world.

For instance, an immigrant who acquires citizenship to the United States with a view to pursuing a career say, in medicine or law using the qualification that they had acquired in the country of origin, often realizes that the educational qualifications necessary in the united states to enables them pursue the career of their dreams, is different from that which they posses.

In order to be certified for practice, he will be required to take the course afresh. Another aspect of globalization involves the importation of experts to carry out a high tech task. These experts will train the citizens who will learn new skills pertaining to that faculty. I work in an auditing firm of 40 members of staff and in this case, it is important to net that 15 members of our staff are immigrants from Asia and Africa.

A majority of them have by far superior qualifications in their respective fields of study in comparison with that native citizens employed at the firm. However, because of the need to gain exposure and the drive to seek for greener pastures and the associated increased earning powers, these immigrants have sought to live their homeland for better employment.

Advancement in technology and innovation has immensely contributed to adulthood learning (Merriam et al 12). Normally, the acquisition of new inventions usually requires training of the workforce of the importing country to teach them the utility of the new technology. For instance, at our firm, the customer care department has outsourced part of its operations to an Indian call center.

The call center is charged with the responsibility of receiving calls and orders from the customer on behalf of the company. Outsourcing therefore enables the company to concentrate on its core business, in this case, auditing, and allow another firm that has specialized in the art of customer care to handle this department. As a result, the company is able to attain synergy in its operations.

Global market share competition is another force which greatly influences adulthood learning. Each reputable international company strives to offer the best quality goods or services. Thus every company which aspires to improve her global market must get in touch with the latest information almost at the time of its conception.

Thus any such ambitious organization will require its employees to learn the any new concepts which they belief will boost their production or service delivery. This may necessitate the employees to enroll for part-time course, and this usually may take duration of time.

Another factor which determines adulthood learning is individual ambition. Some employees may be driven by their aspirations for promotion to take up part-time studies. In order for an employee to have ambition, there must be a driving force from within.

For example, there is the need to realize certain goals in life, as well as at the place of work. Other individuals require having a benchmark against which they are able to assess their progress, as they endeavor to realize the goals that they have set their mind on achieving.

At my workplace, the management has instituted a mentorship program. In this case, a senior manger is allocated a junior member of staff to act has his/her protégé. It is the responsibility of the mentor to ensure that his/her protégé learns the expectations of the company in terms of service delivery and performance. In addition, the mentor guides the protégé so that they can realize their goals in the years to come.

Furthermore, a majority of the mentors are often regarded as role models by the junior employees and for this reason, they have to ensure that they act and conduct themselves in such a manner as would warrant the emulation of their behavior by their junior. In any case, they should act as the banner bearers of the goals and strategies of the company because they have been inculcated into the company’s traditions for longer.

On the other hand, new employees who are superior in knowledge of that profession may be perceived by older employees as opponents for promotion. This may lead the older employees to take up part time courses to match the knowledge of their opponents.

In a healthy working environment, this acts to the benefit of the organization because all the employees are geared to attaining the best qualifications for their respective job descriptions, so that they can gain a promotion, earn a more decent salary, and in the process, assist the organization to realize its goals and objectives.

In contrast, if such a rivalry does not thrive in a healthy working environment, it could be at the detriment of the organization as it may affect the productivity of the firm dues to reduced employees morale. There is also the likelihood of office politicking and backbiting in an effort to ensure that an employee that poses a threat to the others due to their impressive performance or qualifications is eliminated.

Some prominent companies and government bodies, motivate their employees further their studies to enable them tackle numerous challenges facing numerous international organizations.

Noteworthy, study leave is offered by various organizations to enable their employees successfully complete their course. Some organizations go the extent of offering study loans to their employees to enable them accomplish their studies in the hope that it will boost production or service delivery.

How learning in adulthood adversely affects the socio economical aspect of human life

In the preceding paragraph I am going to examine the various adverse effects of learning in adulthood on economy and social life of the adult learner. Firstly, adult learners impinge strain on their brains because like the saying goes; you can’t teach old dog new tricks, like wise it is usually hard for an adult to understand new concepts.

Moreover, the adults are trailed by domestic chores which when coupled with studies give them very hard time. Reduced rest time may mean unsound judgments by the adult, leading to many costly mistakes form the side of the adult learner.

Also, learning in adulthood can be a potential basis for much family conflict. Lack of enough time with the family members, especially the children may lead to their indulgence in bad behaviors such as drug abuse. Also, absence of family protection increases their vulnerability to very serious vices such as rape. Inadequate time spent with spouse may cause strain in the relationship and eventually may culminate in divorce.

From the organizational perspective I would base my argument on economic challenges imposed on the company by this concept. Part-time studies taken by the adults decreases the total time for rest which in turn affects the attention of the individual at the workplace, and subsequently increases the risk of making mistakes. This may result in costly mistakes or accidents, leading to questionable reputation of the organization.

Furthermore, waste of time for study result in reduced production and subsequently low profit margin due to increased production cost. Money given as study loans result in reduced working capital, and similarly low profit margin.

Adult studies may take a number of years to complete, and by the time of completion, the person be left with a short time before his retirement time matures. Adult learning may sometime cost the organization a lot of funds and time to train new concepts to adult employees.

How self regulated model can help to overcome challenges of learning in adult

This model prevents the monetary contribution of the organization in the adult’s studies.

Self-regulated learning policies encompass self-assessment, transformation and organization, planning and goal setting, information searching, record maintenance, self-examination, environmental configuration, giving self-penalty, memorizing and rehearsing. All these entail personal endeavors to improve production without any monetary funding by the organization.

Self-regulated learners approach educational tasks with diligence, confidence and resourcefulness; they recognize whether they have a skill or know a fact, and whether they do not; proactively search out facts when needed and take appropriate measures to memorize them; find away to succeed even when faced with challenges; appreciate learning as a controlled and systematic process; admit accountability for their accomplishment outcomes; and monitor the efficacy of their learning approaches.

Indeed, a self-regulated learner is an asset at the place of work. This is because of the drive that they possess to always be the best. As a result, they end up attaining the best possible qualifications that a certain job demands for. This means that they are more knowledgeable about their designated job than anybody else.

As a result of the passion that they have for their job, they are more likely to be productive in the job in question. Furthermore, because they never give up even when confronted with challenges, self-regulated learners are best placed to help an organization release the goals and objectives that it has set its eyes on, using the recommended strategies.


Learning is adulthood is faced with various obstacles and for this reason it calls for a lot of dedication and discipline. There are various factors that determine learning in adulthood and they include advances in technology, globalization, and the environment at the place of work.

Studies indicate that a self-regulated learner is also likely to become more competent employee because they are focused fully on the job, and due to their emphasis on details. There is the need therefore for organizations to enhance the development of self-regulated learning to reduce the challenges that could face adult learners at the workplace.

Works Cited

Merriam, Sharan, Caffarella, Rosemary and Baumgartner, Lisa (Eds.). Learning in Adulthood: A comprehensive Guide (Third Ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print.

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