Application of adult learning theory to physician assistant education

Sarah Lewis, Patricia Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Just as we depend on medical science and research to treat patients, we should connect our teaching methods to educational theory and research. In particular, the foundations of adult education philosophy and adult learning theories can be deliberately applied to further strengthen the clinical learning experience of physician assistants (PAs). We propose that PA educators should be aware of how their personal philosophy of education affects their teaching practice. In addition, educators should apply learning theories to both classroom process and content. We provide an overview of 5 categories of learning philosophy (liberal, progressive, behavioral, humanist, and radical) and 6 learning theories (experiential learning, reflective practice, situated learning, communities of practice, transformative learning, and critical consciousness) of adult education. Concrete examples of how to apply adult education theory to meet specific learning objectives for PA students are described. Understanding how to apply learning theory and identify and shape one’s educational philosophy provides theoretical and empirical support for what we often deem an intuitive process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-200
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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Physician Assistants
learning theory
assistant
physician
Learning
Adult Education
Education
learning
education
educator
educational theory
learning objective
educational research
teaching method
teaching practice
Teaching
consciousness
Problem-Based Learning
classroom
philosophy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Medical Assisting and Transcription

Cite this

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Application of adult learning theory to physician assistant education. / Lewis, Sarah; Thompson, Patricia.

In: Journal of Physician Assistant Education, Vol. 28, No. 4, 01.01.2017, p. 196-200.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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