Learning Theories & The Benefits To Higher Education

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Learning Theories & the Benefits to Higher Education

Learning Theories & the Benefits to Higher Education

What is your VARK learning style and how does it relate to at least two different learning theories?

My VARK learning style is reading and auditory. Adult education researchers and practitioners have a noteworthy history of exploring adult learning and development through media analysis. From descriptive and critical analyses of consumerism (Sandlin, 2007), gender (Walker, et al. 2010), and sexual orientation (Battles & Hilton-Morrow, 2002) in popular media to examining labor issues in historical and contemporary texts (Thompson, 2007), adult educators have highlighted media analysis as a potent tool for examining individual learning, cognition and identity formation. Our world is significantly diverse, increasingly global, technologically connected, and continually blitzed with media.

A major contribution of this issue is increased awareness of how popular culture may be leveraged to explore different adult learning concepts, both conceptually and through practice (i.e., curricula and instructional activities). Media analysis provides not only a common experience for learners to examine HRD concepts such as adult development, diversity, marginalization, and power differentials, but also affords learners the capacity to become critical, conscious consumers of media. Sharing the common experience of watching a provocative movie gives learners a stage from which to interrogate reality through questioning dominant practices and assumptions. Critically examining media provides an opportunity to consider and critique social arrangements and asymmetrical power relations. It is also important that learners become more critical of the constant media messages we are bombarded with through advertising and begin questioning and challenging the hegemonic and oppressive messages they convey (Day & Newburger, 2002).

Media represents an important unit of analysis in research. As evidenced in the work of several adult educators (Tisdell, 2007; Tisdell & Thompson, 2007; Wright & Sandlin, 2009) noted here, media analysis offers ...
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