Motivation Theory

The adult is always looking for the value in the information presented. If the information has no value, the adult student may dismiss it as irrelevant or not useful. This is important in formulating course material for the adult student.

An important theorist in Motivational Theory is Abraham Maslow, although his concepts are closely related to the Behaviorists' point of view. Maslow postulates that learning begins at an early age and continues until self-actualization is realized. This means the adult is willing to take control and assume responsibility for the self, and is taking on the primary role in the learning process.

The Maslow Self-Actualization pyramid only serves as a foundation to much of the Motivational Theory, since it merely leads to the confidence the adult needs to continue learning, especially in the classroom.

Other theorists such as Donald Hebb and Michael Apter, who suggest that learning only takes place as long as the adult is motivated, or stimulated enough to pursue learning and the learning takes the shape of a curve. The adult has to be in an excited state in order to learn. Being too far on either continuum means there is no motivation to learn.