What is the relative significance of cognitive, personality, and prior knowledge differences to adult learning?

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Karyth Cara eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The relative significance of these things to how adults learn is that they theoretically affect the learning process for adults making it quite different from the process of childhood learners.

Theoretically, learning in any topic will be impacted by prior cognitive development, personality type and development and prior knowledge in adults. 

This is easy to see if a person has been employed in some industrialized business and then returns to school to learn engineering: prior knowledge will make the vernacular and concepts already familiar, though this is less easily seen if a teller returns to school to become an engineer.

Nonetheless the element of a mature cognition and a mature personality, both of which project learning to real world experience, will impact the learning process.