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 

Taylor, D. C. M., & Hamdy, H. (2013). Adult learning theories : Implications for learning and teaching in medical education : AMEE Guide No . 83. Medical Teacher. http://doi.org/10.3109/0142159X.2013.828153

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


Engage the conversation on Twitter at #MedEdPearls. 


#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) – University of Washington 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 College of Pharmacy
Anna Lama, EdD – West Virginia School of Medicine
Machelle Linsenmeyer, EdD, NAOME (Assessment ’07) – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
Linda Love, EdD – University of Nebraska Medical Center
Stacey Pylman, PhD – Michigan State University
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