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EAC 551 Research in Adult & Higher Education As the fields of adult education and training and development

t have grown, they have drawn from other areas of study to establish a basic theoretical base. Referencing these older and wellestablished theories is an excellent starting point that offers a more robust catalog of studies against which to compare and contrast new research. The purpose of this paper was to investigate what one of these established theories, Albert Banduras Social Learning Theory, has contributed to adult education and training theory. I was familiar with Social Learning Theory from my time studying Sociology as an undergraduate and was intrigued by the type of insight it could offer to education and training. Banduras theory, as the name implies, is centered on the social interaction of a group of people and how the interaction between individuals contributes to a persons learning. Since formal education and training is often conducted in group settings, it follows that those areas of study would provide an excellent domain for applying the premises of social learning theory. My research for this paper indicated strong support for Social Learning Theory in the education and training literature. Two of the primary positions of Social Learning Theory are the ideas of collaborative learning and modeling. Bandura believed that individuals learn better when working with others (collaborative learning) and that they also learn by watching others perform a task and then copying the behaviors that prove to be successful (modeling). The research literature in education and training supports both of these concepts. In fact, collaborative learning not only increases demonstrable learning in people, but also increases the subjects perceived learning as well. These are important points to understand for training and development professionals. For me, this paper was a central point in my understanding that environment and course design plays a critical role in training and development. Training professionals must understand the importance of group learning and modeling behavior and the importance those techniques can play in student learning and knowledge retention. With a good theoretical understanding, training professionals can design courses to maximize the positive results and help overcome limitations of time, environment, monetary resources, and similar obstacles. Social Learning Theory has been thoroughly studied in education and training and the findings of some of these studies are conveyed in this paper. The tremendous impact of this study to my knowledge base as a training professional cannot be overstated.