1st Edition

Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Human Learning

ISBN 9780203001677
Published August 6, 2012 by Routledge
232 Pages

What are VitalSource eBooks?

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

As interest grows in theories of lifelong learning not only across society but also as an area of serious academic study, the need has arisen for a thorough and critical study of the phenomenon. This distillation of the work of renowned writer Peter Jarvis addresses this need, looking at the processes involved in human learning from birth to old age and moving the field on from previous unsystematic and mainly psychological studies. Instead, Jarvis argues that learning is existential, and so its study must be complex and interdisciplinary.

The result is a giant step towards building a complete and integrated theory of how humans learn, taking account of existing theories to see if they can be reconciled with a more complex model. Applying his expert analytical approach to this wide-ranging topic, Jarvis looks in detail at:

  • learning in the social context
  • the transformation of experience
  • the outcomes of learning
  • learning and action
  • cognitive theories
  • emotions and learning
  • experiential learning.

Table of Contents

Part 1: An Existential Theory of Learning  1. An Existential Model of Lifelong Learning  2. The Learner  3. Learning in the Social Context  4. Learning and the Nature of Experience  5. Learning through the Lifespan  Part 2: Towards an Integrated Theory of Lifelong Learning  6. Action Theories  7. Cognitive Theories  8. Expressive Theories  9. Experiential Theories  Part 3: Paradoxes of Learning  10. Learning and Identity  11. Learning Autonomy and Authenticity  12. Lifelong Learning: the paradoxes and problems of individualism


View More


'It is easy to see how Jarvis’s views are heady and stimulating intellectual fodder for workshops, and certainly learners must feel empowered by being treated as the ultimate and privileged sources of knowledge about learning. Jarvis is intellectually eclectic on a grand scale, and attempts to contextualise his views within existentialist philosophy, phenomenology, social anthropology, psycho-analysis, and many other schemes of thought. All of this is accomplished with great zest and verve.'

- British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 38 No 2 2007