Adult learning and critical contemplative pedagogy in higher education

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Book Chapter

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This chapter provides a philosophical understanding about the theory of knowledge and the role it plays in institutions of higher education in Western culture. Epistemic ideologies of Western tradition over-emphasize objectivism, individualism, and materialism. In turn, the tension between Western values and opposing worldviews may influence the probability of adult learning distortions, an uncritical interpretation about the world that appears to be incompatible with the experiences of adult learners. An unexamined approach to Western customs may limit holistic human development and transformative adult learning, prompting undesirable feelings in adult learners during their higher education experience. This chapter concludes with a description of critical contemplative pedagogy, offering practical implications to better serve holistic human development and transformative adult learning. Critical contemplative pedagogy may further conversations in the field given the extent to which adult learners are able to navigate growth aspects of the human development process may translate into the degree to which they will be able to transfer knowledge and skills for the betterment of the self, community, and democratic society as a whole.


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Recommended Citation

Krikorian, M. (2020). Adult learning and critical contemplative pedagogy in higher education. In L. Parson & C.Ozaki (Eds.), Teaching & learning for social justice and equity in higher education: Theory and foundations (pp. 259-278). Palgrave Macmillan.