When medical students matriculate they are somewhere between child (pedagogy) and adult (andragogy) learners.  We assume adults learn differently than children because they’ve had more life experiences, are motivated by their perceptions and personal needs, have an interest to direct their learning experiences, and have greater needs to apply learning in and to specific contexts.

 In AMEE Guide 83, Tayler and Hamdy provide a practical guide to Adult Learning Theories 

The guide provides a history and overview of adult learning theories and practical ways the theories can be used for curriculum development, teaching, and assessing learning. The authors also provide a table of  “adult learning model in action” which provides specific roles for learners and teachers. The model shows a variety of ways to apply theories that can help in the instructional design process for one-to-one discussions, small group work, and large lectures.

What effective applications of adult learning theories have you seen in Medical Education?  Join the conversation in Twitter at #MedEdPearls 

Engage the conversation on Twitter at #MedEdPearls. 

Megan M. Haak, MA, ABD
Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Inc.
Graduate Medical Education
Milwaukee, WI  53226


#MedEdPearls Team:
Jean Bailey, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Carrie Bowler, EdD, MS, MLSCM (ASCP) – Mayo Clinic
Kristina Dzara, PhD, MMSc (Educators ’16; Assessment ’16; HCE 2.0 ’17) – Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Shanu Gupta, MD – University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital
Jennifer Hillyer, PhD – Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine
Larry Hurtubise, PhD (HCE 2.0 '16) – The Ohio State University
Anna Lama, EdD – West Virginia University School of Medicine
Machelle Linsenmeyer, EdD, NAOME (Assessment ’07) – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
Rachel Moquin, EdD, MA – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Stacey Pylman, PhD – Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Leah Sheridan, PhD – The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Lonika Sood, MBBS, MHPE – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University
Mark Terrell, EdD – Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Stacey Wahl, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine