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.