Adult learning, health and well-being – changing lives



Field J (2011) Adult learning, health and well-being – changing lives. Adult Learner, pp. 13-25.

It is increasingly important for adult educators to articulate more clearly their understanding of the benefits and outcomes of adult learning. This paper reviews existing evidence of the impact of participation in education, and particularly explores the relevance of recent studies of how learning has influenced adults' health and well-being. Overall, the balance of evidence suggests that learning has clear, identifiable positive effects for both well-being and health. Adult educators should, though, treat these findings with care. The relationships are probabilistic, and do not imply that all individuals will benefit in the same ways from any type of learning; and in most cases, the effects seem relatively small. However, given the well-known challenges of persuading adults to improve their health or well-being by other means, this evidence is important, and confirms' practitioners experiences of the transformations that learning can produce in people's lives.

; Adult learning; Learning, Psychology of

Adult Learner

Publication date31/12/2011
PublisherAONTAS The National Adult Learning Organisation
Publisher URL

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Professor John Field

Professor John Field

Emeritus Professor, Education