Allen Tough's Learning Theory Term Paper by ABCs

Allen Tough's Learning Theory
A review and analysis of Allen Tough's adult learning theory.
# 112878 | 1,470 words | 12 sources | APA | 2009 | US
Published on Mar 11, 2009 in Education (Theory) , Education (Adult Education)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper explains Allen Tough's theory of the self-directed learning among ordinary adult learners. The paper evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the theory and shows how this theory, with its important quality of life concepts, can be used to create a more positive learning environment. The paper then discusses how this theory can be applied to improve the individual learning of followers and how a leader could apply this theory to create a better learning organization.

A Description of the Learning Theory and How it is Viewed by Researchers and Practitioners
Identify the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Theory
How this Theory Can be Used to Create a More Positive Learning Environment in Your Organization
How this Theory can be Applied to Improve the Individual Learning of Followers
How You as a Leader can Apply this Theory to Create a Better Learning Organization

From the Paper:

"Allen Tough's learning theory is based on a series of surveys and interviews he conducted during the late 1960s and early 1970s at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Canada in an effort to provide an empirical basis to improve on the anecdotal evidence of self-directed learning among ordinary adult learners (Jarvis, Holford & Griffin, 2003). Based on these interviews, Tough developed a learning theory that indicated adults were more self-directed as learners than teachers gave them credit for being; in addition, Tough maintained that personal recognition and satisfaction were important motivators of such adult learning and that teachers of adult learners needed to take such tendencies into account in their curriculum development efforts (Grasha, 1990)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bryant, S. M., Kahle, J. B. & Schafer, B. A. (2005). Distance education: A review of the contemporary literature. Issues in Accounting Education, 20(3), 255.
  • Corder, N. (2002). Learning to teach adults: An introduction. London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Edwards, R., Miller, N., Small, N. & Tait, A. (2002). Making policy work. London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Gidley, J. & Inayatullah, S. (2002). Youth futures: Comparative research and transformative visions. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  • Grasha, T. (1990). The naturalistic approach to learning styles. College Teaching, 38(3), 113.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Allen Tough's Learning Theory (2009, March 11) Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Allen Tough's Learning Theory" 11 March 2009. Web. 27 June. 2022. <>