Publication Date

October 2001

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Paper presented at the 50th Annual American Association of Adult and Continuing Education Conference, Baltimore, MD, Oct. 17-20, 2001.


In this study, 4 researchers conduct phenomenological interviews to find out how adults describe their learning experiences and what meanings they attach to those descriptions. The study proposes common structural and functional features of adults' learning experiences, while noting important substantive differences between and among the participants interviewed. The study also raises questions concerning the differences between experiences in general and learning experiences in particular; between learning and performance; and it questions the meaning and validity of the construct, group learning. It also draws several implications regarding the teaching of adults. Lastly, it proposes a way to reconcile he apparent chasm between the two dominant phenomenological schools: transcendental and existential phenomenology.