This exploratory, comparative case study of an urban community college calculus classroom examines adult learning from Yang’s Holistic Learning Theory and provides concrete pedagogical suggestions for how adult learning practitioners can engage adult learners in transformative learning. Data collection was from a selective sampling of student reflective survey writing throughout the span of one calculus course. Data content analysis was both manual and with the aid of NVivo qualitative software by two separate coders. Findings indicate that students exhibit strong explicit and in some instances implicit learning modes but seldom engage in transformative or emancipatory modes of learning as it relates to math. The study, although a pilot, suggests avenues for further research in math learning as well as ideas for eclectic teaching approaches in adult math classrooms. Implications for professors and administrators are discussed.
Recommended CitationJaafar, Reem and Schwartz, Joni, Applying Holistic Adult Learning Theory to the Study of Calculus, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 15(3), 2018.