Category Archives: Books – Adult Learning

Book | In Over Our Heads by Robert Kegan

keganIn over our headsKegan, Robert. In over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.

The Author – Robert Kegan

Kegan is a professor of Adult Learning at Harvard, specializing in cognitive developmental psychology. He has dedicated his career to studying what he has come to call “the evolving self.” Prior to his quest, which began in the 1980s, the conventional wisdom regarding human cognitive development was that all significant cognitive development ceased in late adolescence. In other words, a person’s ability to change the way they think stops at the onset of adulthood. The only type of change that an adult can expect is technical change. Adults can learn more, but they can’t change the way they learn or perceive the world. Kegan’s research has demonstrated that this is not true. He studied hundreds of people over a number of years and discovered that adults can and do develop—evolve—cognitively beyond adolescence. read more

Book | Learning as Transformation by Jack Mezirow and Associates

imageMezirow, Jack. Learning as Transformation: Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress. 1st ed. The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

MezirowThe Author – Jack Mezirow

a pdf of learning as Transformation by Jack Mezirow my notes

“Transformative learning refers to the process by which we transform our taken-for-granted frames of reference (meaning perspectives, habits of mind, mind-sets) to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflective so that they may generate beliefs and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide action. Transformative learning involves participation in constructive discourse to use the experience of others to assess reasons justifying these assumptions, and making an action decision based on the resulting insight.” (8) read more

Book | Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education by Elizabeth Tisdell

imageExploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education by Elizabeth Tisdell

My Notes…

Assumptions about Spirituality:

  • spirituality and religion are not the same, but for many people they are interrelated
  • spirituality is an awareness and honoring of wholeness and the interconnectedness of all things through the mystery of what many refer to as the Life-force, God, higher power, higher self, cosmic energy, Buddha nature, or Great Spirit
  • spirituality is fundamentally about meaning making
  • spirituality is always present (though often unacknowledged) in the learning environment
  • spiritual development constitutes moving toward greater authenticity or to a more authentic self
  • spirituality is about how people construct knowledge through largely unconscious and symbolic processes, often made more concrete in art forms such as music, image, symbol, and ritual, all of which are manifested culturally
  • spiritual experiences most often happen by surprise
  • read more

    Book | Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning by Stephen Brookfield


    Brookfield, Stephen. Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning: A Comprehensive Analysis of Principles and Effective Practices. 1st ed. The Jossey-Bass Higher Education Series. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1986.

    The Author

    20130726-085408.jpgSince beginning his teaching career in 1970, Stephen Brookfield has worked in England, Canada, Australia, and the United States, teaching in a variety of college settings. He has written fifteen books on adult learning, teaching, critical thinking, discussion methods and critical theory, six of which have won the Cyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education (in 1986, 1989, 1996, 2005, 2011 and 2012). He also won the 1986 Imogene Okes Award for Outstanding Research in Adult Education. His work has been translated into German, Korean, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, and Polish. In 1991, he was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree from the University System of New Hampshire for his contributions to understanding adult learning. In 2001, he received the Leadership Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) for “extraordinary contributions to the general field of continuing education on a national and international level.” In 2008 he was awarded the Morris T. Keeton Award of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning for “significant contributions to the field of adult and experiential learning.” read more